The first Big Rock Plowing Match was held in 1895 to provide a competition for farmers to plow against one another. The rules that were established are still followed today. Some wording has changed but they are basically the same. Horses and mules were used in 1895, and we still have classes for them, but it has been 9 or 10 years since we have had an entry.
The Plowing Match was originally held on the fourth Saturday of September. Over the years, three other regional matches discontinued their competitions. So in 1989, Big Rock moved their plowing match to the third weekend in September, and in 1950 it was made into a two- day event. We still plow with antique tractors–both steel and rubber tire–also one and two bottom plows are used.
Shortly after the Plowing Match was established, a Ladies Fair was started and it is still active today. Until 1950, a Saturday dinner was cooked at the plowing field. At that time the Big Rock Plowing Match Association purchased 20 acres and started the 2-day event. They also started offering Saturday and Sunday dinners along with a Junior Fair for children to enter, a Horse Show, Beef Show, Carnival, Pedal Tractor Pull, Horseshoe Tournament, and many other activities.
This one of the last plowing match competitions still in existence in the US.