Baudette, MN. (8-19-19) - They are here to represent. Represent their home country and represent their knowledge and skills to the world. The hundreds of hours of practice are coming to fruition.
They have traveled thousands of miles across the world to get to Baudette, MN. Many have shipped their tractors and ploughs on a container prior to their arrival. They have arrived early to gain an advantage, get settled in, use to the time change, dialed in on the soil.
The prize, a trophy, and of course, the privilege to show the world you are the best plougher in the world. August 30 – September 1, competitors from 28 countries are competing in Baudette, MN to be named world champion at the 2019 World Ploughing Contest.
The list of countries arriving early to the Lake of the Woods area is growing fast. Austria, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada have feet on the ground and are tilling up soil with others arriving daily.
Lake of the Woods is known by most as The Walleye Capital of the World, not for farming. Although overshadowed, the region has a rich farming tradition with tens of thousands of acres of farmland and some unique crops. Located so far north, crops like specialty soybeans, rye grass, canola, barley, sunflowers, wild rice and wheat grow here. The area is the top producer of grass seed used throughout the U.S.
The World Ploughing Contest comes to the U.S. once every 30 years. Last year it was in Germany, next year, it’s in Russia.
Competitors use a two bottom mouldboard plough to carefully configure the soil and accumulate points based on important criteria in the world of ploughing such as straightness, depth of furrow, consistency of rows. Judges closely monitor each competitor during this timed event.
“Everything is about the plough,” explains Joel Wagner, USA Plowing Organization member who is in charge of the marshaling yard located adjacent to the competition fields. “Competitors are working with both metal and plastic mouldboards figuring out what is working best for this soil type.” “They heat up and bend their moulboards to perfectly form the soil for the best looking rows. This isn’t about just ploughing soil, this is a work of art with the best looking rows possible.”
“They are also modifying the jointers (the part of the plough that first enters the soil) on the plough so they clear the top of the soil leaving the perfect looking rows.”
This event is open to the public and takes place just two miles south of Baudette. Aug 30 – 31 will feature the World Ploughing Contest. Sep 1 features the USA Nationals who determines who will represent the U.S. next year in Russia as well as the North American Championship, a contest between U.S. and Canadian ploughers.
In addition to the contest, there will be live music with 5 bands each day, a variety food vendors, international beer garden and a myriad of displays and demonstrations. All are welcome, info at www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com/world-ploughing-2019/.