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welcome read to His Excellency by ci ty clerk Grieve, and presen ted by Mayor Burns.
Cars then took as many people as possible out to the Rutledge farm, where the plowing match was opened by His Excellency and the ground inspected by the party. Following this, the Governor made an address and was afterwards introduced to as many of those present as possible.
A luncheon was prepared by the ladies of the Prospect Mis sionary Society and guests were entertained on the Rutledge grounds.
The distinguished visitors were Visibly pleased with the activities of the afternoon; and it was the refreshing, Portage la Prairie way of acquainting them with REAL farmers who could raise more than their eyebrows or their hats!
An interesting conjecture might be that too much expense goes into an unappreciated 'ties and tails' entertainment, in many places, for celebrities that might be bored with the repetition, and would enjoy something 'down to earth,' like a plowing match, more!
Plowing matches actually began shortly after the turn of the century; Mr. A. M. Brownridge thinks it was about 1902. He was at the first event, which was held on the Tom Sis sons farm, but didn't compete until the next year.
Pioneer farmers took great pride in their plowing ability, and as horses inched their way forward pulling the hand-plows, which were guided by the owners, large crowds gathered to watch them, some speculating on who the winner would be. The straightest furrow and the best weed coverage was the ambition of every competitor.
Through the years, this sporting event has never waned in popularity; actually, it has grown considerably. Horses have been replaced by tractors, of course, and many extras have been added such as: tillage demonstrations, demonstrations (in tents) by home economists, films on the vegetable industry, a tent enclosing displays on weed and insect control and soil fertili ty (with qualified men to answer questions), demonstrations by machine companies, competi tions for amateur welders, etc.
You can almost feel the spirit of camaraderie in the air at this yearly event, as old-timers group together to talk of "the way it used to be", and marvel at the progress that has been made in machinery and technique since THEIR soil-tilling days!