Belgrave's Vincent named to OPA Board of Directors - April 18, 2019
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
After years of involvement at the local level, Huron County’s Margaret Vincent is one of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association’s nine directors for the next three years.
Vincent was elected to the organization’s board of directors at its annual convention, which was held in Barrie on the first weekend in April.
One of six zone board members, Vincent represents Zone 3, which is comprised of Huron, Perth, Bruce and Grey Counties. In addition to the six zone members, there are also three directors at large for a total of nine members.
It is perhaps appropriate that Vincent, Huron County’s 2007/2008 Queen of the Furrow, will serve under Sheila Marshall as president of the association. Marshall was the Ontario Queen of the Furrow in 1973 and this is the first time that a former queen has been elected president of the organization.
Vincent was acclaimed to her position after Carl Weber, long-time director and former association president, withdrew from the ballot.
“Carl’s numerous years of experience and involvement were definitely an asset for the zone,” Vincent said in an association press release. “It wasn’t wanting to be against him [that I ran], it was wanting to be involved with the organization.”
Vincent said that after years of involvement at the local level, both through her parents Joan and Neil and through her own work (she is currently the president of the Huron Plowmen’s Association), it only made sense to take this next step into the provincial association.
She also said that when the 2017 International Plowing Match (IPM) was held in Walton, that really spurred her onto the next level. She said that when she attended the 2018 IPM in Chatham/Kent, she really began seriously considering allowing her name to stand.
Vincent said that she was particularly interested in the position because she saw some opportunity for a shift at the provincial level and, she said, if you want to affect change, you have be an instrument of that change and put your time and effort into seizing those opportunities.
Moving forward, she said, she feels that the organization needs to embrace its heritage and its roots, but also look to the future and consider the time ahead as well as the past.
Much of Vincent’s work, as well as the association’s, is to foster the IPM and ensure that it’s a special event each and every year. While a lot of that work is planning and preparation, Vincent said, there is a lot of boots-on-the-ground work when the IPM rolls around, for which she says she’s prepared.
She says that she’ll work to ensure the success of all of the local plowing matches in Zone 3 and keep them strong for years to come, while also helping to ensure the future strength and success of the IPM.
It’s still early in the process, Vincent said, so she’s not totally sure what all of her tasks will entail, but she knows that she’s committed to the association and will do anything she can to help it succeed.
Joining Vincent on the board of directors are Brian Lunn in Zone 1, Melvin Switzer in Zone 2, Don Priest in Zone 4 (he will also serve as vice-president), Robert MacLean in Zone 5, Doug Sturgess in Zone 6 and David Murray, Donna Telfer and Sheila Marshall in the directors at-large positions (Marshall will serve as president).
For more information on the association, visit plowingmatch.org