Walton's Studhalter to vie for Ontario crown at IPM - Sept. 7, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
As the Huron County Queen of the Furrow, Walton’s Marion Studhalter has her sights set on the Ontario Queen of the Furrow crown to be awarded at the 2017 IPM in her home town.
Studhalter won the 2016 Huron County Plowing Match Queen of the Furrow competition to earn her chance at the Ontario crown being handed out at the IPM.
Huron County is a special county to come from, Studhalter said, and when it comes to the Ontario Queen of the Furrow championship, that is highlighted.
“Huron County is kind of unique according the other Queens I’ve been talking to,” she said. “In Huron County we do have a competition and have six, seven or sometimes eight girls running and that’s rare according to what I’ve heard from other people.”
She said other plowmen’s associations sometimes only have one or two girls running and the same girls might come back two or three years in a row.
“I think I’ve been prepared for the Ontario competition because I’ve already been through the Huron County competition,” she said. “I think, with the Ontario competition, everyone brings something to the table and can excel at things, but having that experience helps.”
Studhalter’s win was helped along by other experiences at the Huron County Plowing Match she said, which will also translate into experience for the Ontario competition.
“It helped that I competed in the Huron County Princess competition,” she said. “That helped me see what was expected of me.”
The Princess competition is similar to the Queen competition in Huron County, however the contestants are younger and plowing isn’t a part of the program.
Studhalter’s sister Ursina was the Huron County Queen of the Furrow as well. She said that seeing Ursina take on the responsibilities and knowing what the competition was about through watching her sister helped a lot.
“I practised plowing because, on our family farm, we do mostly no-till,” she said. “I had to find a plow but I did and I practised.”
The support from Huron County could also play a part in the final outcome of the competition, she said, adding that the Huron County Queen of the Furrow committee, including Marie McGavin and Joan and Margaret Vincent, was a great help in preparing for the event.
Studhalter is a University of Guelph student pursuing an Honours degree in Agricultural Sciences and she said her education has also played a role in preparing her for the competition.
She said whether winning the competition comes down to plowing or speaking, having done both before in a competition situation has left her equipped for the upcoming challenge.
Aside from the typical paperwork to run in the Ontario Queen of the Furrow competition, Studhalter said this year contestants were asked to prepare a two-minute video for the event for the first time.
“I had to do the video and I also had to put together a résumé tailored to the Queen of the Furrow competition,” she said. “As far as practice goes, I’ve been trying to find time to plow, but it’s been pretty busy. I do have a coach, however, and I think that will help in the long run.”
Her year as Queen has been a busy one and she hopes attending events and meeting the people of Huron County has equipped her for the contest which is very much in her own backyard, as her family farm is right outside of Walton.
“Mostly I’ve been going to parades that fit into my schedule and trying to get to events whenever I can,” she said. “It’s been a pretty busy year, but it comes and goes. Christmas was especially busy with all the Santa Claus and Christmas parades. I went to Seaforth, Wingham, Exeter, Clinton and Bayfield.
“I also went to the Pluc’KIN Fest which was a big event,” she said. “It’s hard to fit it all in, really. I went to local meetings and local events to let people know about the Queen competition, the plowmen’s association and the upcoming IPM.”
The responsibilities of the Queen are to attend those events as well as to help with the Huron County Queen Competition for the next year.
The Queen competition will consist of private interviews, public plowing at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20 and a speech competition at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 22.
The winner will be announced at the banquet at the Brussels, Morris and Grey District Community Centre on Saturday, Sept. 23.