Farmers work together

It’s pretty cool to watch a group work together — especially when farmers band together to accomplish a task.

Many are self-proclaimed loners who admit to having to work a bit to share ideas with each other. But in this case, farmers in Ontario are teaming up in an attempt to set a new world record by harvesting 160 acres of soybeans with more than 100 combines in under 10 minutes.

The record attempt is part of Harvest for Hunger, a unique project organized by five local area farmers — Richard Van Donkersgoed, Peter Rastorfer, Mike Koetsier, Randy Drenth and John Tollenaar — to raise funds for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and help end global hunger.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers will sell the harvested soybean crop in a live unreserved charity auction during the event, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. The Canadian International Development Agency will also match proceeds raised in the auction.

Harvest for Hunger is a collaborative community effort involving more than 300 volunteers and more than 100 combines. Everything has been donated including the use of the land, field work, seed, fertilizer, crop protection, fuel and crop scouting. Ritchie Bros. is donating its auction services, staff and an auctioneer to support the event.

The harvest will yield about 8,000 bushels of beans which will be divided and auctioned in lots ranging in size from one bushel to 1,600 bushels (enough to fill a 40 tonne truck). Some of the crop will be sold as crushed beans for soybean meal or Identity Preserved beans (non-genetically modified beans that can be exported). Bidding on lots will be take place on-site during the Harvest for Hunger event. Each lot will be sold to the highest bidder, with no minimum bids or reserve prices.

“All the funds raised from the harvest will help the Canadian Foodgrains Bank provide critical food aid to drought ridden areas such as Ethiopia and Kenya,” said Richard Van Donkersgoed, Fundraising Coordinator for Harvest for Hunger.

Harvest for Hunger will take place on Highway 23, just one kilometre north of Monkton at noon on Friday, Sept. 30. The public is invited to watch the soybean harvest and bid in the live charity auction. Lunch and drinks will be available by donation. Local dignitaries will also be on-site to determine whether a new harvesting world record is set, based on time and acreage.

“Community events like Harvest for Hunger speak to the strong heritage of Canadian farmers feeding the world,” said Jim Cornelius, Executive Director, Canadian Foodgrains Bank. “We are grateful for the volunteers and donors who are working together in support of our mission to end global hunger.”

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end world hunger through the collection and donation of grain and cash. To date, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank has provided more than one million tonnes of food to people in 80 countries around the world. Primary support for the organization comes from growing projects with farmers and communities in Canada’s agricultural sector.

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