A spring farming tradition will be revived May 19 during the 77th-annual International Plowing Match in Lynden.
Once done to prepare fields for seeding, plowing at this event showcases the strength of majestic draft horses and the skill of the men and women guiding them. Approximately 15-18 two-horse teams are expected.
Admission and parking are free to the informal competition, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the west field of Berthusen Park. Access is from West Badger Road, a half-mile west of Berthusen Road, and restrooms will be on the site. JT’s Smoking BBQ food truck will be at the event.
Competitors are judged on various aspects of their plowed lots, including best crown, best finish, best in and out and best firmness and packing. George Bowen of Custer returns to defend the overall title he won last year.
An award social will be conducted at 7 p.m. May 19 in the Mount Baker Rotary Building at 1751 Front St., Lynden.
The International Plowing Match was founded in 1942 by Cornelius “Cornie” Verduin, Jack Elliott and Fred Polinder. Canadians also came to Lynden to compete, although a separate class was created for them because their plows were much different from the standard American plow.
The International Plowing Match was conducted at various sites around Lynden. It was held at the Northwest Washington Fair from 1982 until 2010, when it moved to Berthusen Park. The Northwest Washington Fair and local businesses continue to sponsor the event, which is presented by the International Plowing Association, an active group of volunteers consisting of multi-generational plowing families and people interested in preserving the tradition.