McIntoshes play host to invitation-only Huron County Plowing Match
BY DENNY SCOTT
The McIntosh family is hosting this year’s Huron County Plowing Match on the largest of their wheat fields thanks in no small part to a deep familial connection with the event.
Barbara McIntosh, formerly a Fotheringham, said that her father Bob has been involved in local plowing matches since the 1960s. Her brother has also been involved for many years, winning plenty of awards since he started in the 1980s.
The family connection is a deep one, she said, as Bob was both a director and steward of the land with the plowmen’s association, but recently stepped down after he retired from farming. Barbara competed in the Queen of the Furrow competition in her younger years as well. On top of that, her brother Bill and his wife Amy hosted the 1999 Huron County Plowing Match, and she’s catching up now, hosting this year’s event with her husband Ross.
Barbara has been following plowing since she was a child, starting with local matches and building up to the International Plowing Match, however she hasn’t been as involved lately. It wasn’t until her son Dugald started plowing through the Huron 4-H Sodbusters Club that her family got involved in it again.
“Dugald is the third generation to plow,” she said. “His first match was in 2019.”
Both Ross and Barbara have tried to help Dugald, while Dugald’s sister Kirsten said that she may follow in her mother’s footsteps someday and compete for the Queen of the Furrow crown.
Dugald is plowing both for his own name and also carrying on his uncle Bill’s legacy as Bill’s plow was made available to the Sodbusters Club, at which point Dugald took possession of it. Barbara said the plow was in great shape and that almost everything, including the weights for the blades were still in place. Dugald then said the only major thing that’s missing is a wrench that went missing in transit. He said he hopes he has a home field advantage when it comes time to start carving his own furrows.
Both Dugald and Ross spoke to the selection of the field, saying that it was “one of the Brians” (Current Huron County Plowmen's Association President Brian Wiersma or long-time association member and Sodbusters leader Brian McGavin) who encouraged them to help out by lending a field.
“It’s the one with the most land,” Dugald said. “We only have two wheat fields, and the other isn’t that big. We needed to pick one with lots of land to allow for social distancing.”
While the McIntoshes have agricultural land that they’ve worked on for years, they only bought the host field for the event, located on Division Line, four years ago as part of expanding the family business. Aside from the wheat field, the family also works with corn, beans and layer hens. When they sat down to speak with The Citizen, just weeks before the match, they were just preparing to welcome a new flock of chicks.