A fundraiser, a harvest for people in need, and a chance to share their agricultural heritage with young people in the community
Organizers of Olde Tyme Harvest for Hunger hope to raise money for a good cause, put the spotlight on agriculture, and set a world record for antique farm equipment, all at the same time.
Last fall Terry Aberhart seeded 120 winter wheat acres, which will be donated to the Canadian Food Grains Bank. On August 24, at least 40 threshing machines will harvest that wheat, setting a Guinness world record. As far as Aberhart knows, 26 is the current world record for threshers harvesting simultaneously.
“Probably about half of these machines are going to be run by old time steam engines and old, heavy tractors,” says Aberhart.
Aberhart is expecting threshing machines from all three Prairie provinces and neighbouring states. “There’s going to be a lot of people coming from all over the place to help put the day on.”
Organizers also want to share their agricultural heritage with young people and the public, Aberhart says. Harvest day will be a family event with a festival atmosphere, he adds. Activities will include a farmer’s market, demonstrations, corn maze, music, plus the threshing bee.
“I think it’s going to be a pretty exciting and unique event,” says Aberhart.
Sponsors, volunteers welcome
A group that puts on harvest demonstrations approached the Aberhart family a few years ago about organizing the event. When the Aberharts acquired a quarter section along Highway 16, near Langenburg, they decided it would be an ideal spot to hold the harvest.
Though the harvest is months away, the organizing committee has been busy lining up sponsors, setting up a website, and promoting the event through everything from Twitter to billboards along Highway 16.
“There’s a lot of work to do yet, but there are lots of things coming together, which is good. And more people are getting involved all the time,” says Aberhart.
Volunteers, donations and sponsors are all welcome. Organizers want to line up as much sponsorship as they can to raise money and cover costs, such as moving harvest equipment to the site and back.
People interested in volunteering for, donating to, or attending the event can visit oldetymeharvest.com. Potential sponsors should contact Joelene Kotzer-Mitschke at [email protected]
Aberhart says they hope to highlight agriculture’s culture, “and where we’ve come from and where we’re going.”
“I just think it’s going to be a great way to kind of get ag out into the public again. And those are some of the things that a lot of us as farmers are interested in doing. And maybe having some influence on the perception of agriculture and food production.” †