Competitors from 30 countries are in Olds this weekend for the 60th Annual World Plowing Championship.

The two-day event takes place at Olds College and is hosting a diverse range of teams. Competitors come from all over the world to try their hand at weed control and plowing straight lines.

This year's contestants hail from Austria, Kosovo and Lithuania to Kenya, Macedonia, Russia and Northern Ireland – to name a few.

While plowing would normally be considered hard work, this year's participants are finding the task even more challenging than usual because of wet soil.

"It's very dark and it seems to stick to the plow boards, which is difficult," said Anna May McHugh, a board member with the World Plowing Organization. "You've had a lot of rain and I believe that possibly that contributed to the soil being that much more moist."


Competitors from all over the world are in Olds, Alta., for the World Plowing Championships. (Nadia Stewart/CBC)

While there's no money on the line, for many it is about claiming ploughing glory. For others, it's more about learning how to help their communities back home.

Improving food security

"One of the major things that we are looking at in this competition is plowing and the main reason is to check on food insecurity," said Batram Muthoka, a Kenyan competitor. "We are trying as a country, we are trying as a people to become food secure."

Some of Kenya's major crops include corn and wheat, and those fields need to be plowed well for optimal food production.

The team members work together with people from neighbouring countries to learn best practices and share the knowledge they learn.

By focusing on hard training combined with a give-back attitude, teammates are able to share what they've learned and help their communities.

"We get trained people to become trainers back in the country, and that has seen the growth, improvement and production of most of the crops in our country," he said. "Therefore, Kenya is becoming food secure out of these practices."