District of Kent councillor wins plowing match for mayors class
Plowing is no easy task, but as a dairy farmer, District of Kent coun. Duane Post had an edge over his competitors during the 95th Chilliwack Plowing Match. In the mayors class, Post placed first ahead of Hope Mayor Wilfried Vicktor who came in second, followed by coun. Samantha Piper of The Village of Harrison Hot Springs who placed third.
“As a farmer myself I’ve done a bit of a plowing so it wasn’t a totally foreign thing to me and I was somewhat natural compared to the others — Mayor Sharon Gaetz went first and she went passed the finish point so I kind of knew that I could probably beat her in the match and then Samantha went second and she had a harder time going straight and when she was done it had a bigger curve to it, so really all I did was straighten things out,” he said.
Post’s technique panned out well and the judges looked on favourably as the 15 to 30 minute match continued.
According to Post the judges use a point system based on categories that each contestant must fulfill, as they compete lined up side by side on the same model of tractor to ensure fairness.
Though conditions were mucky with rain, competitors forged ahead, competing for that highly coveted first place title.
“There’s a couple of categories like how straight it is, where you start and where you finish, and then they assign five points to each category and the person with the most amount of points at the end wins,” Post told The Observer. “They showed us how to work the tractor and that was the only instructions we were given.”
Driving a tractor, is like a driving a car, Post acknowledged.
“Once you’ve driven a car you can pretty well drive any car just like a tractor,” he says of getting behind the wheel of a model he’s never driven before.
Competitors get two passes and the track is roughly 100 metres in length, when competitors get to the end of that they lift their plow up and turn around. In the end competitors did two rounds and four passes.
On preparation for a plowing match...Post advices to just show up and be prepared to drive a tractor.
“You can’t really prepare, you just have to concentrate on the job, keep things straight and stop and start at the right place and that’s about it,” he said.
The dismal conditions made it more difficult for competitors out on the field, as plows wouldn’t traditionally be used in slick conditions according to Post.
“Most farmers are not plowing in the rain, they might be finishing off in the rain, but you certainly don’t get up in the morning and see that it’s raining and decide to go plowing,” he said.
Aside from fierce conditions, competition was friendly.
“It’s not really a competitive type of thing, everybody wants to win, but it was more friendly than anything else.”
Post is stoked about being announced this year’s winner after competing a few years back and coming fourth out of five competitors.
“It’s awesome, especially as a farmer myself, and it was good to redeem myself.”
Coun. Pranger was the last mayor in the District of Kent to win the competition so this is a great boon for the district when it comes to the art of plowing fields.
Mayor John Van Laerhoven was unavailable for the match and asked Post to compete in his place, and Post will happily compete again in the competition if asked to do so to uphold the tradition.