2015 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo deserves our congrats and thanks

2015 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo deserves our congrats and thanks 

Point of View

By Hugo Rodrigues, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder

A sincere congratulations to everyone involved in pulling off the 2015 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo, held just north of the Village of Finch last week.

The weather deities co-operated, giving five solid days of sunshine and - for near the end of September - decent temperatures to help draw what may end up being a record crowd to the IPM.

Those now recovering from the prep work required to pull off this scale of event in what was, until earlier this year, an actively seeded set of farmers' fields, deserve whatever rest they're taking right now. As the only media to have someone on site on every one of the five days, our newsroom was uniquely positioned to see all the prep and effort put into practice on a daily basis. We're pleased to have been able to bring the most comprehensive, daily package of coverage from the site available in this region.

Feedback across social media last week and into the weekend was nothing but effusive and positive. People were able to efficiently get to the site, get onto the grounds, move around the grounds and take in the various shows without conflict, without leaving oneself spent from the effort. The various shows and expos as part of the event were well-attended, with plenty of seating available - something the dancing tractors group noted as an improvement over previous IPMs.

The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry jumped onboard as the first big supporter of the Stormont County bid and that investment was very visible last week. One of the nicest spots on the exhibition grounds to chill, have a bite to eat and rest was the counties' tent, with its various displays inside.

Why make such a big deal out of this rural event? Our dollars were used to help pull off this show. Both the counties and City of Cornwall handed over cash and other services in lieu to help organize the show and make it the success that by every available measure it was. We'll make sure to get a grand total on what that investment was in time, so you can judge for yourself whether it was a worthwhile investment.

The event brought every MPP in Ontario to Cornwall on Monday and Tuesday - perhaps the only time that's ever happened. It also brought tens of thousands of people into and through our communities every day - visitor volume that can only be dreamed of for a few days once or twice a year, not the five sustained days it was seen last week.

It was an unrivaled event in our history and for that, its organizers and volunteers should be thanked.