Side A: Benson Road and the North Urbana Lisbon Road (SR 54) in Champaign County was the site of the 1950 National and Ohio Plowing Matches and the National Association of Soil Conservation Districts Field Days. The three-day event drew a crowd of nearly 75,000 and was headquartered in the woods of the Edwin (Ned) Kirby farm located a quarter mile north on Benson Road. The National Association of Soil Conservation Districts sponsored the National and Ohio Plowing Matches. The first national matches were held in Mitchellville, Iowa in 1939 and continued until halted by the start of World War II. They resumed in 1945. Ohio’s 1950 Champaign County-Union Township National Plowing Matches was the first “National” to be held outside Iowa. (continued on other side)
Side B: (continued from other side) The 1950 National and Ohio Plowing Matches featured a group of fourteen-Buck Creek Valley farmers who acted as hosts for the plowing matches where Urbana’s two-time world champion Dean Wilson completed for a third title. It also featured a new activity known as “Wagon Trains,” which involved Union Township host farmers who used 125 wagons and tractors to haul the crowds of people and farmers to view the plowing matches, demonstrations, and many conservation projects that covered 2,200 surrounding acres spread over 10 farms. The event also featured five parking fields covering 200 acres and an airfield on the south side and parallel to SR 54, adjacent to Benson Road, for the “flying farmers” who demonstrated seeding, fertilizing, and corn borer control.
Sponsors: Union Township Trusteees, Virts & Everett Family Farms, Schafer & Everhart Family Farms, Evans & Kirby Family Farms, and The Ohio Historical Society