Manitoba became home to another world record on July 31, 2016, when 139 antique threshing machines harvested a field simultaneously for 15 minutes at the 62nd Manitoba Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede held at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin. Nine others started, but, for various mechanical reasons, couldn’t finish the 15-minute test.
“This was a once-in-a lifetime event,” says Elliot Sims, co-organizer of “Harvesting hope: A world record to help the hungry,” adding, “You just don’t see stuff like this anymore. The energy from the participants and crowd was amazing. You could feel the pride and excitement.”
Nearly 8,000 people came to the Museum to watch 750 volunteers from across Canada and the U.S. break the Guinness World Record for “most threshing machines operating simultaneously.” The previous record of 111 machines was held by a group from St. Albert, Ont. (* The new record is unofficial until it is certified by the Guinness World Records organization.)
Altogether, more than 30 hectares of winter wheat was bound and 30,000 sheaves were cut to be threshed during the event. Combined, the machines were capable of threshing approximately 17,000 bushels of wheat per hour, with 6,100 horsepower of engine capacity driving them.
“This was truly a celebration of our agricultural heritage,” says Sims. “We’re all very happy to have succeeded, and the feedback we’re getting is great. Everyone seems to have really enjoyed themselves.”
Funds raised at the event will be split between the Manitoba Agricultural Museum and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. A final tally will be available in a few weeks.
The funds going to the Foodgrains Bank will be used to help small-scale farm families in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya learn to grow more and better food, so they can better provide for their families. The funds going to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum will be used to help it continue to preserve Manitoba’s agricultural heritage.
Volunteers on antique threshing machines raised funds that the Canadian Foodgrains Bank will use to help small-scale farm families in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya learn to grow more and better food, so they can better provide for their families. (Photo courtesy of Canadian Foodgrains Bank)