IPM Beautification Committee seeks entrants - Spring Home and Garden 2017
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BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The International Plowing Match (IPM) in Walton is just around the corner and the members of the beautification committee are looking to help community members spruce the county up a bit.
Deb Falconer, chair of the beautification committee and a herself a winner of the competition the last time the IPM was held in Huron County in 1999, says the group still has some ground to make up to reach its goal of 50 entries into the competition ahead of the entry deadline next month.
The committee is now made up of five other women, who come from all corners of Huron County: Barb Bennett of Gorrie, Vicky Morrison of the Lucknow area, Katie O’Leary Swinkels from the lakeshore, Patti Hendriks of Seaforth and Anna Needles of Bayfield.
The competition this year boasts eight different categories, which is more than traditional IPM beautification competitions.
The eight categories, far more than have been offered at past matches, are: Most attractive farm gateway/entrance, most attractive farmstead, most improved farmstead, most attractive agri-business, most attractive rural home, most attractive urban home, most attractive seasonal cottage and a new, special 4-H category created strictly for members of clubs.
Falconer says that she and the committee are aiming to have between 40 and 50 properties enrolled in the beautification competition in time for the match.
The deadline to enter the competition is June 30 and applications can be downloaded from the IPM website at www.plowingmatch.org.
However, the committee has taken it upon itself to implement a number of non-traditional initiatives that are a first for IPMs. One of which is the barn quilt trail that Falconer says has taken off since it was first announced late last year.
The idea of barn quilts, large, wooden painted panels for your barn, came from Tim Prior of Brussels, who spotted a few while on his travels across the province for work. He was soon in touch with Cheryl Gardiner of Gardiner’s Gate, who specializes in the pieces, and they had brainstormed a way to encourage local residents to consider barn quilts as a way of beautifying the community.
Prior and his businesses through The Cowboy Loft and Brussels Agri-Services have sponsored the IPM barn quilt competition, which will provide a cash prize to the best barn quilt in the county.
Vicky Morrison, a member of the beautification committee from the Lucknow area, has since taken charge of the barn quilt division of the committee and Falconer says the concept has really taken off.
In addition to the barn quilts, the committee also devised a bow sale system, which was rolled out in April at a special beautification day that was held in Clinton at the Regional Equine and Agricultural Centre of Huron (REACH). Falconer says the interest in the ribbons has also been great.
As far as beautification goes, there is still time to get involved, but the clock is ticking with a deadline for entry set for June 30.
For more information on the 2017 IPM’s beautification competition, visit www.plowingmatch.org.