Planning is in full swing for the 2019 World Ploughing Championship, set for Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Lake of the Woods County south of Baudette, Minn.
Lake of the Woods Tourism last week hosted meetings in Baudette and Roseau, Minn., to provide more information about the event, which could draw more than 30,000 spectators to watch competitors from 32 countries.
As part of the event, two competitors, a coach and a world board member representing each of the 32 countries will be on hand, along with World Ploughing Organization staff. Competitors qualify for the event by winning their national contests.
The ploughers will using two-bottom mould board plows, competing one day on stubble and the next day grassland. Each crop has a different root system and plows differently, according to Lake of the Woods Tourism.
The third day is the U.S. Nationals, which will determine which American competitors will compete in the 2020 World Ploughing Contest in Russia. The North American World Championship also will be held.
In a news release, Lake of the Woods Tourism said competitors earn points based on how straight they plow, depth of furrow and consistency of furrow and rows, among other criteria. The event is timed.
Many of the contestants from Europe will be shipping their tractor and plow across the Atlantic Ocean on a container, by rail from the East Coast to the Twin Cities and by truck to Baudette.
According to Lake of the Woods Tourism, the contest will be held 2 miles south of Baudette on Minnesota Highway 72 and 2 miles east on Lake of the Woods County Road 19. The land is owned by the Arnesen family of Arnesen's Rocky Point Resort. The property covers 1,000 acres, and the actual contest site is 600 acres, Lake of the Woods Tourism said.
In addition to the ploughing contest, there will be food, drink and live music. The Clay Hess band from Nashvilleis scheduled to perform. There also will be a vintage tractor and plow display, and the Northern Minnesota Drafthorse Association will have demonstrations.
While actual attendance is uncertain since this is the first time Lake of the Woods has hosted the World Ploughing Championship, past events have drawn 30,000 people over the course of the three-day competition.
People on hand for the event likely will stay anywhere from International Falls on the east to Thief River Falls on the west and as far south as Bemidji along with Warroad, Roseau and the host community of Baudette, Lake of the Woods Tourism said.
Organizers now are seeing sponsors and volunteers.
"There are many jobs to help out with both before and during the ploughing contest," Joe Henry of Lake of the Woods Tourism said in the news release. "Consider your family, group of friends, company or organization to help out.
"This event travels to a different country each year. It will not come back to the U.S. for at least 30 years. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."