This August, join the thousands of people expected to gather for a chance to witness an attempt to break the world record for 'Most Antique Threshing Machines Operating Simultaneously.' The attempt is part of the Olde Tyme Harvest for Hunger event, taking place August 24, just east of Langenburg.
"The old ways of farming were all about good food and good companionship, says Ken Mack who spearheaded the event.
"It was a neighbourhood thing. People cooked and got together, it was recreation, you went farm to farm. That's something that is lost in today's society," he adds.
Mack's love of old threshing machines dates back to his childhood. Growing up in a farming family, he watched and learned from his father. Over the last ten years, he has collected, repaired and operated several machines that has only served to increase his fondness for both the machines and the tradition that they represent.
"When I saw how many people enjoyed the fellowship when I had my first threshing machine operating in 2002, there's just been no stopping it," recalls Ken.
The current world record is held in Rockriver Wisconsin where they had 29 threshing machines operating simultaneously in 2008.
"It's going to get exciting," Ken says as he eagerly awaits the chance to see 40 threshing machines in full operation at the same time.
Of course, the day is not just about setting world records, it's a community event with an aim to raise money and food for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an international aide agency.
"Everything we can provide here, as far as donations are concerned, is matched four to one by the federal government, both in term of monetary and food donations," explains Warren Kaeding one of the events organizers.
Safety will be a big part of the day as well. All of the machines are certified and inspected prior to being run at the event, but there is the issue of public safety at a large gathering of this type.
"These machines have big pulleys on the sides, completely open and exposed. They were built at a time when safety standards were a lot different then they are today," says Kaeding. Extra safety precautions will be overseen by EMW Manufacturing on the day of the event.
More than 200 volunteers and fifty equipment exhibitors are lined up for the day. Entry to the event and parking will be free. Organizers plan to "pass the hat" for donations throughout the day.
There will be lots of activities for all ages to enjoy – a corn maze, numerous concession stands, a pancake breakfast, more than twenty tradeshow booths, a farmer's market and service club displays. Demonstrations on stocking and horse drawn seeders will be held, and entertainment will be provided by Saskatchewan artist Cody Prevost and comedian Steve Stubblejumpski.
The evolution of how threshing machines were powered will be on display — from horses to steam engines with big boilers and locomotives, old heavy weight tractors to smaller, more mobile tractors.
If you would like to get involved, event organizers are still looking for bundle wagons or if you have a threshing machine that you'd like to bring out, Ken encourages you to contact him by telephone at (306) 743-5573.
For more information or if you are unable to attend the event but wish to make a donation to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, you can visit www.oldetymeharvest.com or call Warren at (306) 896-7799.