Wellington County woman named Ontario Queen of the Furrow

Drayton’s Heidi Frey is the next Ontario Queen of the Furrow. She was selected to wear the crown during the 2019 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo in Verner, West Nipissing.Ontario Queen of the Furrow Heidi Frey

“I can’t believe this is real. I’m so honoured to be chosen out of this amazing group of girls that I’ve gotten to spend the last couple of days with,” she said after her coronation on Friday, Sept. 20.

“I look forward to working with the Kawartha Lakes committee for 2020.”

As Ontario Queen of the Furrow, one of Heidi’s responsibilities is to promote IPM 2020, which is set for Oct. 14 to 17 in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes.

Eighteen Ontario Queen of the Furrow contestants, each selected to represent their region of the province, were accompanied by three judges during two days of competition at IPM 2019. They were assigned points based on appearance and deportment, plowing abilities, an interview and a speech on an agriculture-related topic delivered on the Main Stage in front of a large crowd of IPM visitors.

The top five contestants were attributed additional points based on an impromptu speech delivered during the Celebration of Excellence banquet at West Nipissing Community & Recreation Centre – Marcel Noel Hall (219 O’Hara Street, Sturgeon Falls).

The other five finalists were:

Anna Lennox of Grey-Normanby (runner-up)

Zoe Dauphinais of West Nipissing (second runner-up)

Samantha Reid of Hastings

Grace Mullen of Essex

Heidi, 20, is a second-year student at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. She’s set to graduate with an Associate Diploma in Agriculture at the end of the current school year.

“I’m hoping afterward to get a job based in agronomy and eventually obtain my CCA (Certified Crop Advisor), which basically means I make recommendations to farmers,” she explained.

Heidi’s family was in the dairy business but sold their quota several years ago and now runs an ag retail business.

“That’s where I got my love of cropping from,” she said with a smile.

In her new role, Heidi will act as an ambassador for Ontario agriculture, travelling the province and attending events to promote the IPM and the Ontario Plowmen’s Association. She will continue her reign until the 2020 IPM, at which time a new Ontario Queen of the Furrow will be crowned.

“Being Ontario Queen of the Furrow has honestly been one of the best years of my life,” said Oxford County’s Derika Nauta, the 2018/2019 Ontario Queen of the Furrow. “I will cherish these memories forever.”

Sterling’s Samantha Reid was chosen by her fellow 2019-20 Ontario Queen of the Furrow contestants to receive the title of Miss Friendship.

“We’re all so proud to support wholeheartedly the OPA, the IPM and the Ontario Queen of the Furrow competition,” said Lisa Hunter, manager of marketing and communications for the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association, which sponsors the program. “This is a program that offers so much to our future leaders in agriculture. It’s a great pleasure to say we play a small part in that.”

The IPM is organized by the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA), in conjunction with a local committee. It is held in a different community every year, offering five days of competitions, live entertainment, hundreds of vendors and exhibitors, children’s activities, antique and historical displays, and much more. The Ontario Queen of the Furrow competition has been a part of the IPM since 1960.

                                                              2019-2020 Ontario Queen of the Furrow Heidi Frey