The Wheatland Plowing Match Association was formed in 1877 as a nod to one of the most physically demanding tasks performed by farmers, and for many years an annual competition provided a friendly outlet for farmers in and near Naperville to compare their skills.

One had to be strong to walk behind two draught horses holding a heavy plow while ensuring a rock did not throw the team off course as the soil was plowed to make it ready for planting.

Good eyesight and a high level of concentration were essential. Obviously, such skills were highly valued so plowing matches became a way to highlight this and to praise those who excelled at it.

The matches became popular in North America in the 19th century, but plowing competitions actually date back to the late 18th century in Great Britain.

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