Final Farm Report for 2022
Since our early spring seeding and the first cut of hay in early July, a lot has happened at both the Bremner site and also at our East 50 lease alongside Rg Rd 221. We grew a few acres of oats beside the barley at the Bremner West 40 land this year to put through the binder at our pull & show demonstration. Those bundles are now stored on wagons in the quonset at Bremner and will be threshed out at next August's pull & show event.
We finished up our 2022 haying efforts at the north and south hay fields at Bremner with our second cut happening near the end of August. Most was baled into large rounds along with a few small squares as well. Because of dry conditions and the fact that those hay fields are starting to age, the second crop was not a particularly productive one. Meanwhile, the barley crops on our West 40 at Bremner and the East 50 were growing relatively well despite the dry summer. In September, a dedicated crew of about a dozen members tackled the barley crops at both locations. Both crops were swathed and after a week of drying, the harvest began.
Things were speeded up considerably this year with our purchase of a new-to-us Massey Ferguson 540 combine that was kept in immaculate shape by the original owner. We also used one of our own John Deere 95's along with a new PTO-driven grain auger and grain wagon that we purchased. We also purchased a couple of used grain bins in very nice shape, both of which were spotted at the East 50 and will be put to use next year. We square-baled about 1600 small barley straw bales at the East 50 after the harvest while the barley straw from Bremner's West 40 was round baled.
On Thanksgiving weekend, a crew showed up with their own tractors and with member-owned and club plows, they turned over the land at the East 50 in preparation for next year. That land is tough going for the plows with the compacted soil along with a collection of rocks that only a geologist could love. The West 40 at Bremner was left as-is after the harvest due to the uncertainty of what is happening at Bremner next year with Strathcona County's plans for an Ag Facility of some type. As the last day of October arrived, a group of members showed up at Bremner and tucked away some of our equipment into the quonset for winter storage.
2022 Harvest Supper & Silent Auction - November 5
The arrival of some blustery wintery weather earlier in the week didn't dampen the spirits of the 85 hardy souls who showed up for our 2022 Harvest Supper & Silent Auction on the evening of Saturday, November 5. It was our first year-end event since 2019 when the Covid 19 pandemic was just gathering steam. The Partridge Hill hall was again the venue and proved to be a perfect setting for a crowd of that size.
We didn't have any live entertainment this year, but some relaxing background music complimented a great slide show which allowed those in attendance to visit and catch up on all the gossip and news. Bob Beveridge headed up the planning and organizing again and he was helped by volunteers who handled door and ticket sales, liquor purchases and bartending, silent auction, music, slide show, door prizes, MC duties, and clean up at the end of the evening.
As in past years, catering was handled by Gail and Ed Hryniw and they provided a tasty and hearty supper offering of roast beef & fried chicken plus all the trimmings along with desserts. We doubt very much if anyone went home hungry. As usual, the most exciting part of the evening was our silent auction fundraiser which offset some of the extra costs that our club incurs in hosting the event. Spirited and competitive bidding made for some interesting auction wins. Some in attendance went home with door prizes as a little bonus. The cash bar service quenched the thirst of those who were able to choose from a menu of beer, wine, coolers or soft drinks.
Rae Schmidt & Family Tour and Fundraiser - October 22
About 50 SVTA members plus other invited guests showed up for the Schmidt family's Open House and Fundraiser on Saturday, October 22, so the place was really buzzing and busy. Ray and sons Chris, Brad, and Jeff worked through the week along with a handful of SVTA club members in order to get Ray's large collection of John Deere vintage tractors displayed in his beautiful yard in Sturgeon County.
Ray's collection is one that anyone would be proud to display and one of the largest of its kind of working and running restored John Deere iron. It seemed that there were JD models of every shape and size on display. Ray's shop and storage buildings were also open for business with all kinds of treasures and agricultural memorabilia being available for inspection. Add to that a good number of 'parts tractors' and 'future projects' in the yard that are waiting to donate parts or to be a full restoration some day. When the noon hour rolled around, we were treated to a fantastic pizza lunch and cold drinks compliments of the family.
The day was not just a tour but a fundraising endeavour initiated by the Schmidt family. Everyone in attendance contributed donations and then Ray and the boys matched everything that was collected dollar for dollar. When all the dust settled with the collections and the matching, the Schmidt family ended up sending off a $10,700 donation to the Cross Cancer Hospital through the Alberta Cancer Foundation. A big thank you goes out to Ray and his family and all of those who showed up to make it so worthwhile.
17th annual SVTA Vintage Tractor Pull and Show - August 27 & 28
Things were a bit iffy on the first morning of this year's event when we experienced a two-hour delay due to muddy track conditions after a sudden downpour. A rescue effort by some antique earth moving equipment on site skimmed off the muddy mess and our pull track grader was able to finish it up with pulling commencing by the noon hour.
Over the weekend, we had 69 pulling participants completing about 125 total pulls on each of the two days on a track that most considered as good or better than any previous year. All ten of our weight classes had competitors registered. Pull results can be seen on the left side of our website homepage. At the front gate, we had strong numbers with about 2200 paid adults and seniors showing up over the weekend. Add to that at least a few hundred or more kids of age 14 and younger who get in free, our attendance totals were great. Overnight primitive camping permits were issued to 18 trailers and RV's for those staying the weekend.
New this year to our itinerary was our hosting of pizza with cold drinks after the tent set ups on Thursday evening. Also new was a lasagna supper in one of the big tents on Saturday evening for pullers, weekend workers, and their spouse/partners. A total of 76 individuals purchased tickets for the lasagna supper.
In addition to the pulling events, we had the usual offerings. Several food trucks kept those in attendance well fed over the two days. Static displays included vintage cars, trucks, tractors and ag equipment, plus vintage lawn and garden tractors and working stationary engines. Our McCormick threshing machine was kept busy threshing out the grain from our 2021 barley bundles. A working sawmill and vintage road building equipment demonstrations were also big attractions.
Wagon rides around the property and the mansion yard were filled to capacity with the power being supplied by tractors and a team of ponies. The adults swarm the three big tents for the vendor goodies in one of them while the other two provide shelter for our silent auction and our garage sale.
The kids loved the face-painting, the nearby bouncy castle, our mini-train rides around the site and most of all, the gigantic sand pile and toys. Things wrapped up on Sunday afternoon with our usual trophy presentations near the tent shelter by the announcer's shack. A big thank you goes out to the pull organizing committee along with all the volunteer workers and sponsors.
Road Tour and Fun Pull 3 - August 13 & 14
We had a great turnout on Saturday, August 13 for the first leg of our weekend event doubleheader the 2022 edition of our Annual SVTA Road Tour. We had 17 tractors in the entourage plus a pilot truck up front and an emergency truck/trailer trailing in case of breakdowns (which didn't happen). All went well although the 30 degree C temperatures were a bit warmer than we would have liked. After a 2 hour and 15 minute drive to Fort Saskatchewan, we descended on the Boston Pizza for a tasty lunch where 28 in total showed up. Things wrapped up with our arrival back at Bremner by about 3:00 PM following a shorter route home. Thanks to Rae Macmillan for planning and organizing the event, it's one we look forward to every year.
The following morning on Sunday, our third fun pull of the year was held at the Bremner site. About 25 pullers showed up with their old iron for a last chance to fine tune their tractors before our annual pull and show at month's end. Lunch was provided by the club, a delicious pizza offering from Nitza's Pizza in Sherwood Park. Ellis Kumpula and sidekick Roman Sadauskas made sure everything ran smoothly through the day including the organizing of the noon hour food and cold beverages for the pullers and guests. Thanks to all for showing up and keeping the interest level high for our club activities.
Galloway Seeds Breakfast Event - July 27
Our club participated in Galloway Seeds' annual Customer Appreciation Breakfast event on Wednesday, July 27. The weather was warm and clear with things wrapping up by mid-morning before temperatures became uncomfortable. As usual, the breakfast was delicious and many of those in attendance went home with a nice door prize. Our display always attracts a lot of interest from visitors and it gives us an opportunity to show our old iron and do some advertising for our August pull and show.
In addition to the Galloways' own Massey Ferguson 35 chore tractor, we had 17 vintage SVTA tractors on display along with Tom Emes' original 1930 Ford model A pickup truck which his dad bought in 1950. Thanks to all for participating in this and other local community events. Galloway Seeds has always supported our club when we've needed product or grain handling equipment through the years and it is nice for us to give something back to them.
First Hay Cut and Baling - July 14
After our second fun pull finished up on July 9, Tom Speedie showed up at the Bremner site the very next day and cut our south and north hay fields. Most of the cut was done with our club's Versatile 400 swather/crimper but after two breakdowns, Tom put his little Ferguson TE20 and 6' sickle mower to work in order to finish up. He came prepared with his Fergie waiting in the wings ready to be called into action if necessary
By July 14, John Brown had raked and baled it all with the final count coming to 36 large round bales. We'll see what happens over the next 5 weeks for a second cut. Both fields are approaching the end of their productive life span and growth has slowed down. Historically, our second cut is always finished up before our "mowing bee" which happens a few days before our annual Pull and Show event on the 27th and 28th of August.
Fun Pull #2 - July 9
We held our second fun pull of the season on Saturday, July 9 at Bremner. A warm and sunny day welcomed us but too much rain earlier in the week resulted in the pulling track being unusable. The pull group decided to move things to the grassy north lane alongside machinery row which worked out quite well. We had about 24 tractors on site for the single-day event and about 40 people in total showing up.
Members used the event to make sure their old iron is in good working order for the remaining months ahead. We had a special lunch menu this time around with Jacy Froland preparing a great "pulled pork on a bun" offering with salad and veggies for everyone. A big thank you goes out to the Frolands along with Tom Speedie who put the whole thing together for us. We have one more fun pull planned for Sunday, August 14 at Bremner and then two weeks later we host our annual Vintage Tractor Pull & Show on the weekend of August 27 and 28.
Canada Day Parade Fort Saskatchewan - July 1
Canada's 155th birthday party started out with some bright and sunny weather, but by the time we were half way done, things had cooled off and we experienced some heavy showers. This was probably our biggest turnout ever for any kind of a show or parade with 21 tractors showing up including Rae MacMillan and his Ford 600 which did a great job towing the Northrup Express wagon which was full to the brim with passengers. There were about 50 separate groups registered which made for a BIG parade and LOTS of people enjoying the celebration.
The whole parade route was lined with huge crowds and the rain didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits. A number count showed 10 John Deere's showing up along with 3 Fords, a pair of Danish Bukhs, and single examples of a Farmall, Oliver, Massey Harris, Cockshutt, Ferguson, and a Case. Thanks to all for showing up and representing our club, your efforts are appreciated. Club member Tom Speedie pre-registered everyone and organized the event for us so special thanks goes out to him for a job well done.
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village - June 26
We had what was probably the nicest weather day of the year for our display event at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Sherwood Park on Sunday, June 26. We have been participating at the site supporting their June "Vintage Days" event for many years. This time around we had our best turnout ever with 14 units of old iron showing up for visitors to enjoy. Old tractors attract both young and old like a magnet. Our units were parked in a shady display area along with a large number of vintage cars and trucks.
At the 'large" end of the size spectrum we had a Case 600 while our smallest tractor was a tiny Massy Harris Pony. In between these and in no particular order we had the following tractors showing up ..... Bukh 452 Super, John Deere 530, Cockshutt 20, Ferguson TEF20, Bukh D30, Cockshutt 40, John Deere H, Fiat 411, Coop E2, John Deere 1010, and a pair of Ford 8N's. Thanks to all for showing up and supporting the good folks at the village.
Ardrossan Parade and Picnic - June 18
Our club participated in the Ardrossan Rec & Ag Society's 75th anniversary Parade & Picnic on Saturday, June 18th. All went well despite the damp weather earlier in the day. We had 6 tractors showing up including Don Tauber's Allis Chalmers WD45, Sten Nielsen's Coop-Deutz F3, Roman Sadauskas' Cockshutt 40, Ellis Kumpula's JD 530, Bob Beveridge's Cockshutt 20, and finally Dale Schafers' JD model LA towing his JD stationary engine and water pump display trailer. The crowds were very good. Due to Covid restrictions, ARAS's last parade and picnic event was held in 2019.
Our display attracted a lot of attention after the parade and so did our club's kiddie train rides around the parking lot. Sten brought over our train cars from Bremner and supplied the power with his Kubota B2410 yard tractor which worked out well with him and our event coordinator Rae MacMillan sharing duties as train engineer. Things wrapped up by mid-afternoon and a big thank-you goes out to those that participated.
2022 Fun Pull #1 - June 4
The weatherman delivered a mixed bag of weather for us with comfortable temperatures but strong winds which made for rather dusty conditions on and around the track. This was our first "new and improved" version of a fun pull which involved a simple registration and weigh-in session followed by our on-track pulling in weight-class groupings with pull distances being recorded. Every puller was allowed to enter up to two tractors and each tractor/driver combo completed two pulls, one in the morning and then one later in the afternoon. We had 34 members participating in the pulling with about 45 tractors showing up. Several more members showed up just to watch the excitement along with a good number of family members.
The fun pulls are a great way to make sure that the old iron is running and performing as it should. It also allows our pull committee to make sure our electronic scale and distance measuring equipment is up to the task. Plus, it gives them a chance to tweak and make sure the pulling sled is in top shape. A delicious hot dog & burger BBQ lunch was served up for everyone during the noon hour break. Thanks to all who participated and especially to those who worked hard to make it all happen.
Spring Seeding - May 19
We experienced our first decent rain of the season this week which is more than welcome considering we completed our spring grain seeding efforts just a few days ago. Our first hurdle was to prepare the land we refer to as the "West 40" adjacent to our north and south hay fields at Bremner. Because the county's plan to start construction of the Multi Purpose Ag Facility has been put on hold, they have allowed us to farm there again with barley being our grain of choice. A small portion was sowed into oats which we will use for our binding demonstrations at August's pull and show event and then will store for our threshing demonstrations in 2023. Plowing, disking, harrowing, seeding and then a final harrowing was completed by a dedicated crew of our club members under the direction of Tom Speedie, our farm manager.
Our crew members then moved east to our leased "East 50" site alongside Range Road 221 and we repeated the process. We farmed that acreage last year and despite the dry conditions, we managed to harvest a decent crop which was financially successful. In past years we have cleaned our own seed grain in our fanning mills, however this year it was purchased from Galloway Seeds who have always been there for us as a supplier as well as lending us loading equipment when needed at harvest time. A big thank you goes out to all that helped get everything done this time around. Some of us are getting a bit long-in-the-tooth but we still enjoy the experience of "farming the old way".
New SVTA Board Elected - April 20
We had a good turnout for our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, April 9. A new board was voted in with 4 executive and 8 director positions filled. Because of time commitments, Joe Radke has stepped down as our Vice-President and Bob Beveridge has vacated his director spot and put his name in the hat for the VP position. Ellis Kumpula offered his services to be on the board again after a couple of years off. Thanks to all of these individuals for taking on the responsibilities that go along with these positions. We're looking forward to a busy and successful season of club activities.
When all the dust settled, here are the 12 spots and who filled them:
President - Leo Bilodeau
Vice-President - Bob Beveridge
Secretary - Val Shillinglaw
Treasurer - Al Rice
Directors - Rae MacMillan, Tom Speedie, Mel Clark, Peter Newman,
Sten Nielsen, Mike Ballash, Les Ducharme, Ellis Kumpula
Bodnar Family Museum - April 9
Our field trip to the Bodnar Family Museum in Edmonton on April 9 was a big success. Club members Ray Schmidt and Al Rice did a great job of putting this together from our end of things.
We reached our count limit quite early and all the money that we collected was turned over to the museum and is going to be donated to the Ukrainian war relief effort. Ron and his family (wife Danin, daughter Jennifer and son Conrad) will match our $1500 donation and look after all of those details. A big thank you is passed along to them along with their "Do Everything and Anything" sidekick Gary Adam for an extremely enjoyable and educational morning.
The museum is jam-packed with displays of all kinds, many of them focused on vintage tractors as well as automotive displays and service stations, including their collection of beautiful Frankin air-cooled automobiles along plus many other makes and models. Other displays and collections included a ladies dress shop, hardware and general stores, soda fountains, Meccano sets, juke boxes, signs, toys and toy gun collections plus too many other categories to remember. Several lucky SVTA members went home winners from our draws for some Superstore gift certificates and SVTA merchandise.