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International Plowing Match and Rural Expo expected to bring over 70,000 people, $25 million in economic activity to Dufferin

August 3, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown 

Organizers of the 2023 International Plowing Match (IPM) and Rural Expo are busy making final preparations as the agricultural event’s arrival in Dufferin County this September quickly approaches. 

“This is the very first time in the over 100-year history of the IPM that it is being held here in Dufferin County, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome all the visitors to our beautiful part of the province,” said Dawn Van Kampen, co-chair of the local IPM organizing committee.

The IPM was created by the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OTA) in 1913 to showcase farmers’ passion for the soil, agriculture and rural living. The IPM is the largest event of its kind in Canada and has historically seen attendance numbers exceeding 70,000 people over the five-day event. 

Plowing – whether by the old-fashioned horse-drawn plow or tractors – remains a key feature of the five-day event, but over its 100-year history, the overall experience has evolved into a massive rural expo, with a continued focus on agricultural education. 

In 2022, it was announced that Dufferin County would be the host location for the 104th edition of the International Plowing Match. While the agricultural event has been held in counties surrounding Dufferin County in the past, the 2023 IPM will mark the first time the event has been hosted locally. 

“The Headwaters of the Grand offers outstanding agricultural land and a dynamic group of people who will make the 2023 IPM an outstanding event,” said Floyd Williams, president of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association. 

According to the International Plowing Match, tourism industry figures put the economic impact of the agricultural event at about $25 million annually, not including the long-term benefits for tourism in the surrounding area from exposure. 

Over the five-day event, the Dufferin County host farmers will open their fields, transforming them into a large rural expo which includes a tented city, daily entertainment, animal exhibits, demonstrations, local artisans, farm and rural goods and services, a rodeo, and plowing competitions. 

The event will also provide an opportunity to give back to the community. 

The local organizing committee for Leeds and Grenville, the counties where the plowing patch was held last year, recently announced that $145,000 in initial profits were distributed to charitable organizations within their communities.  

“That’s a powerful legacy for the community, and everyone here is working extremely hard to make sure we can make a similarly impactful contribution to our own community,” said Bill McCutcheon, local committee co-chair. 

While plans are well underway for the mid-September event, local organizers say it is not too late to get involved, whether as a participant, sponsor, or volunteer. 

“This is a once in a generation opportunity for our community that isn’t to be missed and we want to make sure everyone who want to be involved is,” said Van Kampen. 

Those interested in getting involved in the event as a volunteer can contact Cindy (, or as a sponsor, contact Alan Howe ( or for exhibitor information (

For more information on the 2023 International Plowing Match, visit the website at or follow on Facebook and Instagram. 

The 104th International Plowing Match will be held in Bowling Green, located at 284029 County Rd. 10 in Amaranth, from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23. 

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