GREENVILLE — Darke County Commissioner Mike Rhoades put on his ploughboy hat Thursday morning to talk to the attendees of the monthly Ag Breakfast about an earth-shattering event coming to Darke County.
Thanks to the efforts of Rhoades and his cohorts in the Darke County Plowing Association, western Ohio will play host to as many as a half million people as the 2019 World Ploughing Championship Competition comes to Darke County.
Participating nations are Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Kenya, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States of America and Wales.
The World Ploughing Organization was established in 1952 with the following objectives:
-To foster and preserve the art and improve the skill of ploughing the land;
-To promote World Championship Ploughing contests;
-To provide for demonstration work and trade displays;
-To urge the development and adoption of improved techniques and aids to man in all branches of agriculture;
-To foster a vigorous spirit of cooperation in an enterprise in producing food for increasing world population;
-By these means to encourage fellowship amongst the people of all nations; and
-To support and cooperate with other bodies or associations in furtherance of these objects.
Rhoades described the competition as “spreading world peace with a moleboard.”
The Darke County group is in the early stages of fundraising and organizing for the event. Rhoades presented a preliminary estimate of costs totalling about $1.3 million.
In addition to that money, the event will bring in up to a half million people for all or some portion of the 10-day world event, which does not even include the state and national competitions that will precede it. Those people will be filling hotel rooms, shopping and dining locally, Rhoades said.
Rhoades said the website darkecountyplowing.org should be launched within the next couple of weeks, and will provide more information about the local organization and the upcoming world event.
He said the committees are currently in need of volunteers in addition to financial supporters.