One hundred and twenty combines, 2,900 feet of header harvest 160 acres of soybeans in just under 12 minutes. Over 3,000 people gathered near Monkton to witness the “Harvest for Hunger” event. Perth County Warden Julie Behrns clocked the official time of the event, 11:43:59, just under 12 minutes to harvest 160 acres of soybeans. Did they set a world record? According to Randy Drenth, chairman of Harvest 4 Hunger, Guinness World Book of Records no longer keeps track of speed records. Setting a world record was one of the committee original goals, and while they won’t be listed in the Guinness, they surpassed their goal of raising over $200,000 during the one day event. That’s a goal the committee would challenge anyone to top
Worries about rain forced organizers to bump the event from the original date not once, but twice. The third date turned out to be a sunny day and 120 combines took to the field to harvest. It was a dusty game of follow the leader, as combines followed one behind the other down 160 acre field of soybeans.
A record was set in 2006, in Winkler, Manitoba for harvesting 160 acres of wheat in ten minutes but the Guinness World Book of Records n longer keeps track of speed records being set.
“We had hoped to make it into Guinness Record book but they no longer do that so we had to forgo that goal.” said Drenth. “But far more important, we surpassed our fund raising goal! I am confident that we’ve exceeded $200,000. The harvest may not have met the mark in a record book, but will in relief efforts thanks to the funds raised for hunger relief agencies of the Canadian Food grains bank we will meet the mark. ”
Over 8,500 bushels of soybeans were harvested by combines of all sizes, shapes and brands. Beans were then auctioned off, and buyers bid, bought and then donated them back again all in the name of fundraising for a worthy cause.
“People can still support the cause, anyone interested in donating a $20 bushel of soybeans can do so at the Canadian Food grains Bank web site : http://www.foodgrainsbank.ca/” said Drenth. “Donations will receive a tax deductible receipt from the Food grains Bank, and be added to the total amount raised by Harvest for Hunger to help hungry people in the developing world.”
“The event certainly raised awareness for Canadian Food grains Bank” said committee spokesman Merlin Stoltz. He kept a running commentary as the combine drivers drove through the field. “A lot of people were involved, the community really pulled together for this event, it been really good to see everyone working together.”
Local business and farmers donated combines and drivers for Harvest for Hunger. Farmers drove up to 45 km to the event, coming from Arthur, Drayton and Moorefield in addition to the Monkton area farmers.
When asked if he would do it again, Drenth was quick to say “Not tomorrow, but now that we know how to do it…”