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Team Canada 2023 - Lativa Experience

Thank you to the Canadian Plowing Organization for their financial support of the 2023 Canadian Plowing Team. It is deeply appreciated. We know how much effort goes into fundraising and your support is a big help toward the financial costs. Also, thank you to Cheryl Timbers for organizing Canadian Ties for the team! We

will wear them with pride.


Brian, Tom, Daryl, Keith, and Bert.


The team spent several weekends during June and July at Daryl Hostrawser's farm. Daryl kindly provided some rare sod ground to practise in. Access to the ground during production time was very generous support. Bert made the 2+ hour trip these weekends. It was good for all of us to spend some time in the field together. Near the end of our practice weekends, Daryl had Tom and I plow full-sized lands ‘on the clock’. An effective practice method.

Aigars Laurinauvics – Latvia 2023 Host Chair

Aigars was my head steward in Ireland. We made the connection that he spent some time in Kincardine Ontario (very close to where Tom Evans lives) for 20+ years ago through a business exchange of sorts.

I learned that he was bringing his daughter (on a “long-promised” trip to see where his uncle lives (Mississauga) and where he spent his time in Kincardine) on a Canada tour in early July. We coordinated a dinner in Kincardine where Susan,

Tom and I had a very nice evening together with Aigars and his daughter- Liene. It was a glimpse into the history of Latvia and his family's experience with wars, occupation and land seizure over the last 120+ years. Their experience with Russia, Germany and related conflicts affected them deeply and personally. This

glimpse was eye-opening. (refer to Tom Evans's brief later on)

(BTW, Aigars is the Baltic distributor for HoneyBee equipment manufactured in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)

Aigars has been very helpful in making our excursion a reality.

Liene, Brian, Aigars, Tom

The team decided to ship our equipment via a high cube sea container. Both the conventional and reversible tractors and plows along with lots of extra parts and

Gear was assembled at Keith’s place.

The process requires:

A seaworthy certificate for the container – good for a year

A Carnet and insurance for entry and export from a destination to avoid

import/export taxes – good for a year.

A logistics company to facilitate pick up, transport, customs clearance (usually

provided by an in-country firm), coordination and delivery each way.

The route was:

Owen Sound to Toronto Rail Head – truck delivered August 24th.

Train to Montreal arrived on August 25th

The vessel loaded on August 31

Arrived in Antwerp Belgium – unloaded August 12th

Reloaded August 15th

Arrived in Riga on August 22nd for clearance

Trucked to Kuldiga, Latvia and unloaded via crane

It was picked up on July 21st

World Ploughing Championship 2023

Search this name on Facebook and follow for ongoing local updates. You will see a video of our container unloading. In addition, they have the beginning of an interview that we did about our journey. More to come later.

Some history from Tom Evans

The area we are going to has seen a lot of change in nations since WW1 and the defeat of Germany, and the collapse of the Russian & Austrian Empires. Many civil wars were fought in-between world wars and then the establishment of the Communist bloc.

Kaliningrad was part of East Prussia which was one of the states of Germany. After WW2, no more Prussia. Russia ended up with a part of it. Poland and Lithuania are the rest.

Actually, Prussia and its leadership spearheaded the creation of the German state in 1870 by waging a war against France. Before that, there were many German-speaking kingdoms. There was an earlier treaty of Versailles in 1871 when France surrendered to the German armies. At the same place, most of the German states agreed to form a larger nation. Hence why the treaty of Versailles following WW1 took place at the same location with Germany defeated at that time.

Austria never joined the German states until Hitler annexed them in 1938. He brought about the unification of all German states which hadn't happened since the Holy Roman Empire. He even laid claim to the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire which were located in Vienna. Associating himself as an emperor.

The Baltic states found themselves independent after the Russian Civil War. Then retaken by Stalin in 1940 when he made a deal with Hitler. Then Hitler invaded. Many people of the region joined the Waffen SS to get rid of the communists and hope for independence. Germany lost the war. The Soviet Union took everything back.

Fast forward to 1991, Gorbachev dissolved the Soviet Union. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were independent again.

That's your brief history lesson. The 20th-century history of the area is fascinating. And very sad. A lot of war and oppression that we have no idea about in the West. During WW2, the choice was to fight for one side or the other and it is debatable which side were the good guys.

A good overview of the Baltics!

(Click on the embedded links for some interesting information on the

region) Political Map of Baltic States - Nations Online Project

Note: Kaliningrad between Lithuania and Poland:

Why is Kaliningrad part of Russia? | VortexMag

Next steps:

The team flies out of Toronto on the evening of September 28th and arrives via Paris in Riga after lunch local September 29th. It is a 2-hour drive to Kuldiga from the Airport.

We have made arrangements for an early stay of the official programme. We are coordinating with the USA team again. The group functions well together, and we have helped each other out with many aspects.

Pre-practice ground has been arranged for use after we unload.

We connect with Tom Ryall (and Jean) who will be arriving for the official program and World Board duties on October 7th.

Official competition is October 13 and 14th with clean up and container pick up on October 16th for its return.

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