Lake Of The Woods Prepares To Host World Ploughing Competition
When you think of Lake of the Woods County, you might think of walleye and fishing, but soon, the world will also know them as a top plowing destination thanks to the county hosting next year’s World Ploughing Competition.
“First off, what an honor for the United States to host this competition. For Lake Of The Woods to get it is just really humbling,” says Joe Henry, executive director of tourism for Lake Of The Woods County.
“We would be hoping to bring anywhere from 30 to 32 or 33 countries to the contest,” says AnnaMarie McHugh, who is general secretary for the World Ploughing Organization.
The World Ploughing Competition has been around since 1953. Last year, it was held in Kenya and this fall it will be held in Germany. In 2019, the competition will drive into Lake of the Woods. A meeting was held in Baudette on Wednesday to discuss the logistics of the competition.
“It’s very much about how the plowing looks when it’s plowed. How straight it is. How little grass is showing or how little soil is showing,” says McHugh.
While it is a competition, the event is also meant to celebrate the art of plowing. There will be a weekend of festivities including a parade of tractors and a blessing of the plows. Lake Of The Woods is looking at all of Northern Minnesota to help pull everything off.
“We’re working with neighboring communities on different activities and housing. We have a ton of details to work out as far as making sure that we have proper security; making sure that medical is covered; making sure we have the right infrastructure,” says Henry.
Lake Of The Woods is taking this an opportunity to share with the world what the county is all about. They’re living by the World Ploughing Organization’s mantra “Let Peace Cultivate the Land” to guide them in their planning.
“There’s so many countries descending on the area. It’s fantastic and so many different cultures, different languages. Families arriving and friends arriving and meeting all those people, getting to know them; creating lasting friendships. There’s lifelong friendships that have been created through plowing,” says McHugh.
“Minnesota is such a welcoming state. To bring them to the Midwest to Minnesota and just to roll out the red carpet and to share some really great experiences with them is going to be a very special time,” says Henry.
McHugh adds, “We have to go back to the world association and tell them what do we think. Is America ready for the contest next year? And there’s no question – America is ready, and Lake of the Woods would be a really good experience.”
As you can imagine, a competition of this size will require many volunteers both during the planning and at the time of the event. If you’d like to get involved, you can email Joe Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org.