The title of Corn King isn’t just tossed out to anyone.
It takes a lot of scientific and mathematical research to pin down the very best crops.
Every year, about 15 farmers will enter their crops into the contest, says last year’s Corn King Ken Schwaerzle. The corn is studied by scientists from Ag Canada, and that judging took place just last Friday.
The judges visit each farm and look at the crops’ appearance, the height of the corn stalks, weed control, and more.
They also take a few strips of the field and count how many plants are in each row, taking careful note of how the corn is populated. The better the yield, the closure a farmer is to becoming the next year’s Corn King, or Queen.
Then, they’ll actually take a few cobs of corn back to them at the research station, to judge the cobs individually for quality.
One judge used to cook up the corn and check for taste, Schwaerzle added.
Schwaerzle isn’t in the running this year, as he’s in the process of a family transfer of his farm to his son.
While he was Corn King, he joined a long line of local farming royalty that dates back to 1949 when Sam Stock wore the crown. In 2007, the first title of Corn Queen was given to Michelle Stuyt.
The title of Corn King isn’t the only corn related fun at the fair. Each year features a corn shucking contest for the kids, where they can win prize such as ride coupons. And a small army of corn shuckers stay busy through the day, as part of the famous chicken and corn dinners.
Despite rumours Schwaerzle said he’s heard recently, he assures everyone that there will be chicken at the fair again this year.