Wanted: technicians who know how to operate a pitchfork

Volunteers sought for biggest-ever threshing bee in 2016

If you think the days of the threshing bee are long past, you’re mistaken. And if you know what a threshing bee is, the Manitoba Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) may need your help.

In August 2013 a group at Langenburg, Sask. set a world record by having 41 machines working for 15 minutes, with funds raised from the event going to the CFGB for its work to end hunger overseas. Now the CFGB is teaming with the Threshermen’s Reunion to set a new record at its annual event in Austin on July 31, 2016.

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Since they’ll need some time to prepare — and plenty of sheaves to pitch into 65 machines — the work will start this year and the organizations are calling for volunteers to help with the event, which will be called Harvesting Hope. Funds raised will be shared by the two organizations.

Work on the machines will start this May. Here’s part of their job description:

“We need people familiar with threshing machines, or mechanical people willing to learn quickly, to come to help get the machines ready to work. We’re happy for anyone willing to work for a day or two, or longer of course.”

“This harvest time, August or September, we plan to bind and store sheaves to be ready for 2016. We need people willing to work in a harvest bee. If you can operate a pitchfork — or are willing to learn — you can help. We’ll also need people to make meals to serve the harvest crew.”

“July 15 to Aug. 15, 2016 we’ll need volunteers to help set up for the event — run services of various kinds during the event — be part of threshing crews (we plan for 65 machines each of which needs five people working at it) — and then the cleanup work after the event is done. Again, there will be opportunities to help for a day, or longer of course.”

Interested volunteers are invited to a meeting at the Community Hall in Austin (across from the grain elevator) on March 14 at 10:30 a.m. For more information, contact Harold Penner at (204) 746-5135 or email [email protected].

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