Weobley & District Agricultural Improvement Society was established in 1907 and includes a radius of about 8 miles round the village measured from Weobley Church.
Ploughing matches began in the 1800’s originally to celebrate the end of harvest. It was a chance for farmers and their workers to socialise, to eat and drink and celebrate after exhausting weeks of harvesting crops on the farm. It was also an ideal opportunity to exchange ideas and to display and discuss the new farming techniques and compare new settings on ploughs, all horse drawn. The competitions provided the ploughmen with the chance to boast, and for landowners to compete with each other. During the 1900’s horses were replaced by tractors so ploughing matches moved with times and competitions took place using tractors. A modern ploughing match may have both horse and tractor ploughing competitions and often sheepdog trials.
In the Ploughing match obviously ploughing plays an important part. However during the summer other crops and livestock from farms within this 8 mile radius are judged and trophies are presented for: wheat, barley, potatoes, rape, grassland, roots, beef, dairy cattle, sheep and cider etc.
On the day of the Ploughing match local ploughmen will be ploughing from early morning to early afternoon. They are judged for firmness of furrow, the straightness of furrow, the equal widths, the uniform beginning and ends of each row and the final furrow being equal with the original crown. A very skilled operation – do come along this year and see for yourself!
An important part of any ploughing match is the DOMESTIC section. Introduced in the 1930’s this recognised the skills of the farmer’s wife and women working close to the land! Today ANYONE may enter these domestic competitions which include:
Cookery, produce, preserves, horticulture, floral art, handicrafts, art and there are various sections especially for children. See their website for more details of this year's match to be held at Bidney Farm, Dilwyn on Saturday 16th September 2017. Or contact Pam Powell (leave message) on 01981 590682.