Can still donate to help people who don’t have enough to eat

LISTOWEL, ON – A year ago, on October 5, thousands of people flocked to the Tollenaar farm between Listowel and Monkton, ON to take part in Harvest for Hunger.

The goal of the day was to harvest 160 acres of soybeans in ten minutes or less, and to raise $200,000 for Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

At exactly 1:30 PM, 120 combines started up, stirring up dust and excitement among the thousands of people gathered to watch. Eleven minutes and 43 seconds later, they were finished—not quite as short as the organizers hoped, but still a world record for soybeans.

 

Better yet, the effort raised $255,000 for the Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger—and also brought people from around the area together to celebrate the gift of growing food and helping others.

 

For the five organizers—Richard van Donkersgoed, Peter Rastorfer, Mike Koetsier, John Tollenaar and Randy Drenth—the day was a “celebration of all the great things we’ve been given,” as Drenth put it, and a chance to “do something to help those who don’t have what we have.”

 

It also fulfilled their vision to the day, taken from the book of Exodus 23:16: “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first fruits of the crops you sow in your field.”

In addition to local farmers who brought their combines to the Harvest, there were 300 volunteers who helped the event run smoothly—taking photos, counting donations, serving food, assisting the media, providing security, setting up tables and chairs, assisting with parking, running the auction and many other important tasks.

 

The group also received strong support from the local businesses that donated inputs and seed.

 

“Harvest for Hunger was a tremendous illustration of what people can do when they work together to help others,” says John Longhurst, who directs communication and marketing at the Foodgrains Bank.

 

“At the same time, it celebrated the gift of growing food and sharing of the gifts, skills and talents of the farming community.”

 

Documentation of the event can be found at https://harvest4hunger.wordpress.com/.

 

People who want to keep the spirit of that day alive can do so by donating to Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Donations can be made online at www.foodgrainsbank.ca, by calling 1.800-665-.0377 or by mailing a cheque to Box 767, Winnipeg, Man. R3C 2L4. Mark Harvest for Hunger on your gift or on the online giving page.

 

Every year over 200 growing and community projects like Harvest for Hunger raise over $5 million for the Foodgrains Bank.  Together with other donations, and with support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), last year the Foodgrains Bank was able to provide 40,849 tonnes of food and other assistance worth $43.9 million for over 2.1 million people in 36 countries.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

MONKTON, ONTARIO  The Harvest for Hunger was everything the organizers hoped for as a fundraiser for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. In addition 160 acres of cash crops were harvested in record time but not quite in the target time the organizers had set for themselves.

 

Farmers in the Monkton area of Ontario have set a world record time for harvesting 160 acres of standing soybeans in 11 minutes and 43.59 seconds. They put 115 combines, each valued somewhere between $200,000 and $400,000, into the soybean field and harvested an estimated 8,000 bushels for the fundraising auction that followed.

 

“The success of the auction, a beautiful day and a crowd of more than 3,000 has made up for any disappointment at not meeting our target time of 10 minutes.” Randy Drenth, chair of the organizing committee said after the event.

 

Committee members estimate that total funds raised is closer to $250,000 than the target $200,000 for famine relief. All of the inputs to grow the soybean crop and of the ingredients for the lunch available to spectators were donated by local businesses. The lunch was available for a donation to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

 

The auction started with record setting prices. The first winning bid for one bushel sold to the public was $1,000. As auctioneers often do, the crowd was asked if others wanted a bushel at that price. Almost 20 bushels were taken up.

 

The first two large lots of 1600 bushels each were taken up by the grain trade at $36 per bushel — well above market price.

 

More precise numbers will be available once the final weight of the soybeans is known.

 

“This is a world record in its own right,” Elbert van Donkersgoed, a spokesperson for the Harvest for Hunger Committee, said after the event. The farmers are a little disappointed that their pace was a little off the time set by Manitoba farmers in swathed wheat last year.”

 

That pace was 11 minutes, 8 seconds.

 

“Every farmer will tell you that organizing a speed harvest in standing soybeans was much more challenging than in swathed wheat.” van Donkersgoed said. “The Manitoba attempt included cutting and windrowing the grain in the days before the harvest. This allowed combines to line up beside each other with ample space between them. In standing grain, combines have to cut overlapping swaths and be behind each other in a staggered pattern.”

 

When asked why the thoroughly planned event did not meet the 10 minute target the answer was the typical challenges that farmers face every day: equipment break down and equipment jams.

 

“At least two of the combines plugged up and another two had equipment failure,” van Donkersgoed said. “The combines that had no trouble completing their swath did so in less than the target 10 minutes but a number were needed to turn around and cut part of a swath for those that were out of the race.

 

The public can increase support for this hunger relief effort by ‘donating a bushel’ — $20 on the website of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

 

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of Canadian Christian churches and church-based agencies working to end hunger in developing countries.

 

The harvest has been extensively documented. There were two fixed wing aircraft and three helicopters over the site. There were cameras on four skyjacks, on combines and in the field on utility vehicles. Early results can be seen at https://harvest4hunger.wordpress.com/.

 

Elbert van Donkersgoed, 519-763-2589 or Harvest4Hunger@terracoeur.ca

A 10 minute world record harvest of 160 acres of soybeans will now be attempted on Wednesday, October 5.

 

The Harvest for Hunger Committee had no choice but move the date a second time after a weather system moved through Perth County on Sunday afternoon and again soaked the 160 acres of soybeans, one kilometre north of Monkton on Highway 23.

 

“We will not have much of chance at a world record if one or two of the combines plug up because the soybean plants are damp,” noted Randy Drenth, the chair of the five-farmer group that has spearheaded this fundraiser for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

 

Dozens of enterprises and hundreds of community members are supporting the effort to set a record soybean harvest. Everyone is being stretched a bit more as a result of the rescheduling.

 

In spite of the weather setbacks H4H Committee continues to target $200,000 for famine relief.

 

“Rescheduling due to weather events is normal in the business of farming,” Elbert van Donkersgoed, a spokesperson for the organizers, told the media. “The rain has not dampened the commitment of these farm families to promote the Canadian Foodgrains Bank as an effective Christian response to hunger.”

 

The arrangements for the day will remain the same as originally planned for September 30. Lunch will be available for the public for a donation to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank at noon. Bleachers have been brought to the site so that a good view of the combines can be had by all.

 

Combine engines will be started at about 1:20 p.m. in preparation for the record attempt at 1:30 p.m. Shortly after the harvest, the soybeans will be auctioned to the highest bidder.

 

The public can support the fundraiser by ‘donating a bushel’ — $20 on the website of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

 

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of Canadian Christian churches and church-based agencies working to end hunger in developing countries.

 

Background on the plans for the world record attempt can be found at Harvest for Hunger. This includes a site map.

 

Elbert van Donkersgoed

The record harvest of soybeans at Monkton has been postponed a second time. A weather system moved through the area on Sunday afternoon and soaked the beans.

 The organizing committee hopes to set a new date later today.

 Updates will be posted on the Harvest for Hunger website.

 

Elbert van Donkersgoed, 519-763-2589 or Harvest4Hunger@terracoeur.ca

 Environment Canada Radar at 3pm Sunday, October 2

PRECIP – Rain2011-10-02, 03:00 PM EDT, 6/6

There is just too much risk of rain on Friday, September 3O, for the Harvest for Hunger Committee to put 120+ combines in a 160-acre soybean field in Perth County.

The attempt for the world record soybean harvest has been postponed until Monday, October 3 at a farm on Highway 23, 1 kilometre north of Monkton.

“The five farmers that have spearheaded this fundraiser for the better part of a year desperately wanted to stick to their Friday plan during a conference call on Wednesday but there was too much risk of wet soybeans on Friday,” said Elbert van Donkersgoed, a spokesperson for the group.

On Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. the Weather Network forecasted a ‘cloudy with showers’ day for Friday and a 70% probability of rain.

“The hundreds of volunteers committed to enabling this attempt to harvest the field in less than 10 minutes will be scrambling to re-organize their schedules,” van Donkersgoed noted. “But they will be rewarded with a grand time on Monday the 3rd as it is forecasted to be a perfect fall day.”

The goal of the record harvest is raising $200,000 for the hunger relief projects of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an agency in which 15 national Christian churches or their hunger relief agencies cooperate.

The harvest event will start at noon with the Mitchell Legion Band and lunch for the public.

All the combines will be assigned their places by 12:45 p.m. After the welcoming speeches the schedule calls for the combines to bite into the standing soybeans at 1:30 p.m.

Immediately after the harvest the soybeans will be auctioned to the public in one bushel lots and in 400 or 500 bushel lots to the grain trade.

Elbert van Donkersgoed, 519-763-2589 or Harvest4Hunger@terracoeur.ca

NOTE: Details about the harvest can be found at Harvest for Hunger. This includes pictures of the preparation of the field.

Long Term Forecast Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2011, 15:00 EDT

Thursday
Sep 29

Friday
Sep 30

Saturday
Oct 1

Sunday
Oct 2

Monday
Oct 3

Tuesday
Oct 4

Conditions
6am – 6pm

Isolated showers

Cloudy with showers

Cloudy with sunny breaks

Cloudy periods

Cloudy periods

Sunny

P.O.P.

40%

70%

30%

0%

10%

0%

High

18°C

13°C

8°C

12°C

18°C

19°C

Low

9°C

5°C

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7°C

Wind

SW 10 km/h

SW 20 km/h

N 15 km/h

N 15 km/h

W 15 km/h

SW 15 km/h

24-Hr Rain

close to 5 mm

close to 1 mm

Harvest for Hunger News

September 23, 2011

Over 110 combines are committed to a Perth County farm for the world record soybean harvest attempt on September 30. A large crowd is expected to attend the site on Highway 23, 1 kilometre north of Monkton.

 

Randy Drenth, chair of the group of farmers that is leading this attempt, emphasizes that their primary goal is raising awareness of the hunger issue.

 

“This event is primarily a fundraiser for the hunger relief projects the Canadian Foodgrains Bank,“ says Randy Drenth. “Everything is ready. All we need is good weather for the attempt to harvest 160 acres of soybeans in less than 10 minutes. This is our way of getting lots of attention for the auction that will follow the harvest. We want to raise $200,000.

 

The soybeans will be auctioned to the public in one bushel lots and in 400 or 500 bushel lots to the grain trade.

 

The public is invited for lunch. Beef and pork on a bun will be available for a donation to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Lunch will be served at noon. The Mitchell Legion Band will provide music.

 

All the combines are scheduled to be lined up in their assigned places by 12:45, when short welcome speech and greetings will start in the viewing area. The combines will bite into the standing soybeans at 1:30 p.m.

 

The event has attracted wide support from the agricultural community and its suppliers. Everything has been donated so that the full value of the auction can be donated to hunger relief.

 

The public can also be part of the fundraising by donating $20 per bushel to Harvest for Hunger. Donations can be made on the website of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Donate.

 

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of Canadian Christian churches and church-based agencies working to end hunger in developing countries

 

Background on the plans for the world record attempt can be found at Harvest for Hunger or Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Elbert van Donkersgoed