As our 14th season winds down, we realize just how busy things can be. We've had a lot of displays and other club activities over the summer months and the farm operations are moving along well into the fall harvest time. Our annual tractor pull and show is now into the history books. We still have lots of things on our fall agenda and as usual we will keep members up-to-date on what's happening through emails. Read along and see what's been happening and what's yet to come.
GENERAL MEETINGS LEFT THIS SEASON - We have two general meetings left for this season of tractor club action, the September one is on the 19th while October 17 will be the last one for 2018. Both start at the usual 7:00 PM at the Ardrossan Memorial Hall. Turnouts this year have been pretty good overall and those that show up catch up on all the news from the club and also from other members (which can be pretty interesting sometimes). Thanks to all the regular attendees that show up every month, we appreciate you being there.
MEMBERSHIP - Once the dust settled after pull weekend, our count shows 82 regular members (including two juniors), 28 life timers, and 8 honorary members for a total of 118. We lost a total of nine individuals who did not renew from last year's 2017/18 count but we had 13 new members join up since last spring. Since the last newsletter earlier this summer, all new club members on our list were a result of registering at our August pull. Those individuals include Dick Arie (Lloydminster), Marcel Babineau (Sturgeon County), Ken Connolly (Spruce Grove), Andrew Froland (Lamont), Oles Sabadash (Tofield), and Ernie Balaneski (Sherwood Park). Ernie was a member a few years back and has rejoined. Welcome to the club everyone, we hope to see you out for as many as our activities and events as possible. All of our current memberships expire at the end of March, 2019.
2018 PROVINCIAL AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARD DISPLAY (July 11 & 12) - Strathcona County hosted this year's edition of this event with individuals attending from across the province. A wide variety of events and venues awaited visitors, one of the stops was a noon hour luncheon at Josephburg at the Moyer Recreational Center on Wednesday, July 11 and Thursday, July 12. Our club was invited to set up a display of some of our old iron and several club members took advantage of the opportunity along with being able to advertise our August pull and show to those in attendance.
Club members showing up with tractors included Ken Bodell (John Deere R), Helmuth Ritter (Cockshutt 30), Lee Salmon (Allis Chalmers WD45), Val Shillinglaw (Massey Harris 50), and Bob Beveridge (Cockshutt 20 and Co-op E2). In addition to our display, there were several commercial vendors displaying their wares including Rocon Rodenticides, Vermeer Equipment, Highline Manufacturing, Olds College, Ag For Life Rural Safety Unit, Cows & Fish Riparian Society, Rural Municipalities of Alberta, Lamont County Emergency Response, and Bayer Chemicals. Thanks to our club members mentioned above for stepping up to the plate and taking the time and effort to showcase our club in the community and in this case, our province.
SVTA FUN PULL (July 14/15) - We held our second fun pull of the season on the weekend of July 14 & 15, the first time we held it over two days. Saturday was cool and windy but we had a good turnout of members with their tractors and things got even better then next day when even more showed up. Joe Radke and his wife Kerry organized the weekend event and provided a great hamburger and hot dog barbeque for everyone on both days. It was nice to see a number of the ladies out on the weekend, proof for us all that pulling can be a family event. Thanks to Joe Radke and Kerry for doing all the spade work and preparation for a very enjoyable fun pull.
We had another fun pull scheduled for August 13 but it had to be cancelled because of those ongoing sled repairs on the transmission. Al Rice was rebuilding a newer one that was donated from Aldon Auto in Lamont through our club member Marc Normandeau. We hope to be able to hold a final fun pull in September sometime. The date will depend on our fall harvesting work schedule which will take priority on our calendar.
GALLOWAY SEEDS BREAKFAST EVENT (JULY 25) - An absolutely beautiful morning greeted all the visitors who attended Galloway Seeds annual breakfast appreciation event on July 25. Our club was invited to participate by showing some of our member's old iron in a display next to the breakfast venue. Ken Bodell was our main man and club organizer for the event. Thanks for doing that Ken. We had a great turnout of tractors with 18 club tractors showing up. Several other club members enjoyed the visiting and breakfast without bringing tractors, always nice to get a few extra guys at these events. We've never had a better turnout for a show and we thank everyone who made the effort to display their tractors for the Galloway family who appreciated our efforts. The breakfast itself was more than tasty and a large number of door prizes found new homes by the time things wrapped up later in the morning.
Those bringing tractors included Bob Beveridge (Co-op E5, Co-op E2, CCIL 570, and Cockshutt 20), Ken Bodell (JD R), Leo Bilodeau (JD BR and JD AR), Ellis Kumpula (JD 530), Rae MacMillan (Ford NAA), Peter Newman (Fordson County), Sten Nielsen (Deutz 50), Helmuth Ritter (Co-op E3), Lee Salmon (Allis Chalmers WD45), Val Shillinglaw (Massey Harris 44), Ernie Shumansky (JD A and Farmall A), and Tom Speedie (Case DC4 and David Brown 2D). Thanks to all for supporting our efforts to support other clubs and business groups in Strathcona County.
2017 BARLEY CROP - On July 31, Joe Radke along with Ken Bodell and Tom Speedie spent the afternoon at the Bremner farm getting our 2017 feed barley crop loaded for shipment to a feed lot north of Lamont. Both trailers were filled on the first trip out and the trucker had to return for the rest later in the afternoon. Thanks to all for getting this done and also to the people at Galloway Seed Farms who loaned us the use of their John Deere 6530 tractor and also a grain vacuum which emptied the bins much faster than our grain auger could have done it.
ROAD TOUR ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 11- After some record-setting hot days during the week, the weekend had cooler temperatures for those of us who showed up for our 2018 edition of our annual road tour and lunch to Fort Saskatchewan. We had about 14 tractors in our group and we took our usual route on the way there heading east to Rg Rd 223 and then north to Twp Rd 544 and then back west into the Boston Pizza in the Walmart parking lot. Our display included our Northrup Express wagon and pull ad banners and it all offered interesting viewing for those visitors who happened by. Tom Speedie was our organizer this year in the absence of Rae MacMillan who had previous commitments.
One little glitch was a flat tire that Bob Beveridge and his Co-Op E5 exprerienced about half way to the Fort. Luckily this year, Lou Normandeau was following our tractor caravan with his truck and trailer and Bob and Lou were able to load up the crippled tractor and continue on. In the 14 years we have completed our road tours, this is the first flat tire we can remember although we have had some mechanical breakdowns before. Ward 1 councilor Robert Parks joined us for lunch as a replacement for councilor Paul Smith (Ward 5) who had previous commitments on Saturday. Between the two of them, they managed to treat us to a very enjoyable noon hour stop before we headed back home to Bremner afterwards. Thanks to both Robert and Paul, we appreciate your generosity.
AUGUST 18/19 WEEKEND EVENTS - We participated in a few locations on the August 18/19 weekend prior to our annual tractor pull. First off, some of our members spotted their vintage tractors at two of the stops on the Alberta Farm Tour weekend. The Colin Jackson farm alongside Cloverbar Road was one of the sites involved and club members Norma Northrup (JD 520), Lou Normandeau (JD 620), Al Gregoire (JD 1010), Lee Salmon (Allis Chalmers WD 45), Ken Bodell (JD R)), and Leo Bilodeau (JD BR & BN) left their old iron there for guests to view over the two days. In addition to our SVTA tractors, one of Colin's employees brought out his JD-830 and also a JD AR. At the same time and for the same tour event, Sten Nielsen had 2 of his tractors on display at the JN Trees location on Range Road 222.
Meanwhile on Saturday August 18, the South Cooking Lake Community League sponsored their annual Trail Days parade and celebration. As usual, there was a full day of family activities that visitors to the site could enjoy, and kids had all kinds of things happening to keep them busy and happy. Ken Tompkins showed up with his Case model S and towed the Strathcona County council float while Val Shillinglaw followed close behind with his Massey Harris 50 and an SVTA banner advertising our tractor pull and show. Thanks to all for helping out , our involvement in community activities and displays is appreciated by everyone in attendance.
REBUILT TRANSMISSION IN PULLING SLED - For a few years now, we have experienced some shifting difficulty with the original transmission that was installed in our pulling sled. We believe it was a school bus transmission from the 1950's. This spring our club picked up a newer donated GM transmission compliments of Aldon Auto Parts in Lamont (and club member Marc Normandeau who works there). Al Rice rebuilt the transmission from the ground up and while he had it apart, he removed the unneeded reverse gear which was one of the original issues with the old transmission. After many hours on the rebuild and some frustrating waits for replacement parts, Al finally installed the rebuilt transmission a week before our annual pull with some help from Sten Nielsen, George Schmidt, and Mike Ballash. A big thank you goes out to Al and his helpers for getting this done. We look forward to years of trouble-free pulling with the new unit in place.
SVTA 2018 TRACTOR PULL AND SHOW - The 14th edition of our annual Tractor Pull and Show was held on the weekend of August 25 and 26 at our property on the Bremner farm site. At times, the weather looked a bit iffy and one little system moved through on Sunday afternoon and a quick dump of rain messed up the track for several pullers in one class. But other than that, we got through without too much of a weather problem although conditions certainly were not ideal and attendance was down a bit from past years.
For the tractor pulls themselves, we registered 105 tractors in our ten weight classes. We have never had that many showing up to compete at the Bremner site so that's quite an achievement. In addition to the pulling, we had the usual menu of other activities for visitors to enjoy. The youngsters were kept busy with all kinds of things including a bouncing castle, the world's largest sand pile, face painting, balloon sculpture, yard tractor-pulled train rides, horse and wagon rides, and a variety of noon hour fun activities and games on the pulling track including blind fold races.
Other things of interest included tours of the Bremner mansion by county workers, our regular silent auctions in the big tent, merchandise vendors in the small tents, a noon hour parade of power, our daily 50-50 draws, vintage farm equipment and vehicle displays, a garage sale, threshing demonstrations, grain field work (binding), and a portable saw mill operation. Several concession food trucks kept everyone well fed through both days. Things finished up on Sunday afternoon with our trophy presentations and finally the site cleanup.
Thanks go out to all of our many volunteers (club members and others) who helped out in addition to the pull organizing committee who met every month since spring planning the weekend and making sure things ran smoothly. And a big thank you is also passed along to all of the individuals and business firms who provided supplies, services, and silent auction items for this year's event.
TRACTOR PULL RESULTS 2018 - Below are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers in each class from this year's pull. The bracketed number after the pull class indicates the number of tractors pulling in that group.
Ultra Fly Weight (2): 1st Elmer Prochnau (Oliver 60); 2nd Sten Nielsen (Porsche 111 A)
Fly Weight (9): 1st Don Tauber (Allis Chalmers CA); 2nd Tom Speedie (Ferguson TEF 20); 3rd Ken Tomkins (Allis Chalmers WC)
Antique Feather Weight (6): 1st Elmer Prochnau (Oliver 70); 2nd Terry Dietrich (Cockshutt 30); 3rd George Frieser (Farmall H)
Classic Feather Weight (15): 1st Magnus Hansen (Cockshutt 30); 2nd David Lougheed (Oliver 550); 3rd Ernie Kapicki (Allis Chalmers)
Class I (11): 1st Rick Northrup (JD G); 2nd Terry Dietrich (Farmall M); 3rd Val Shillinglaw (Massey Harris 44)
Class 2 (20): 1st David Lougheed (Oliver 88); 2nd Ellis Kumpula (JD 530); 3rd Ray Schmidt (JD 530)
Class 3 (13): 1st Magnus Hansen (Farmall M); 2nd Ellis Kumpula (JD 630); 3rd Tom Speedie (Oliver 88)
Class 4 (19): 1st Wes Heller (JD 830); 2nd Ray Schmidt (JD R); 3rd Ellis Kumpula (JD 730)
Class 5 (5): 1st Dave Peters (JD 730); 2nd Darcy Chalmers (JD 820); 3rd Marcel Babineau (JD 730)
Class 6 (5): 1st Bernie Briggs (Oliver 995); 2nd Rick Northrup (JD 830); Ernie Balaneski (JD 830)
2018 SVTA HAY CROPS - We took off two cuttings of hay this year, neither one came close to previous years for hay quantity or quality due to the dry weather. The second cut was done just a few days before our annual tractor pull at Bremner. Ellis cut the first crop with his Kubota tractor and haybine and then Leo Bilodeau (John Deere B) and Ken Bodell (Ford 2000) used their vintage sickle mowers to take off the second crop a few days before our pull weekend. Local farmer John Brown raked and large round-baled the first crop and then later he baled (small squares) what hay was available after the second cut. Thanks to all for getting this done, hopefully next year we will get more moisture in a timely fashion and the hay crops will be better. If we small square bale the oat and barley straw, it will be available for purchase once that is all finished up.
GRAIN CROPS AND FALL HARVESTING - As mentioned in the last newsletter, this year we planted two different grain crops on the "west 40" site. We planted about 6 acres of oats which our binder got busy with on the pull weekend. We will finish that up as soon as the crop ripens off and the weather cooperates. Those bundles will be gathered and then stored on wagons through the winter in the quonset. We will use them for next year's threshing demo at our 2019 pull weekend.
Once the barley is ready to take off, we will get that swathed and later harvested with our two John Deere combines. The grain will be stored in our on-site bins until it is sold. Club members will be notified in advance of when the fall harvesting begins and we need as much help as we can round up to get this all done. After all the dust settles, we will do some fall field work in preparation for next year's crops.
ANNUAL SVTA YEAR-END APPRECIATION EVENT (Saturday, October 20) - We are holding our year-end appreciation supper event on Saturday, October 20 at the Partridge Hill Hall, the same place we've had it for the past few years. The Partridge Hill Hall is located at 22002 Township Road 542.
Club members and their spouse/partner do not pay for the event, all others (friends, guests, etc.) pay $25 per ticket. All couples are asked to bring an item(s) for our silent auction. The hall capacity is limited to 120 people. Things kick off at 5:00 PM with a $2 cash bar for beer and wine sales. Pop and water is supplied at no charge. A catered roast beef & chicken supper with all the trimmings will start at 6:00 PM.
Afterwards, the silent auction will continue along with some form of entertainment. Things should wrap up by 10:30 PM. You can reserve your tickets starting at our general meeting on September 19 but if you can't make it out, you can reserve your spots by phone starting on September 19 (not before thank you). Phone Ellis (780) 850-6120, George (780) 983-4857, Joe (780) 991-2910, or Bob (780) 919-3667 for that. Don't leave it too long, once we reach the hall limit then registrations will be closed off. If you are registering guests, you will be responsible for ensuring payment is made to the club before or at the door that evening.
So that's the tractor club news for now, we still have lots more happening this fall with our farm harvesting activities, our year end supper and maybe a fun pull. Members will be notified by email as we move through the next month. If you don't have email service, keep in touch with a club member that does. Don't forget our second-last general meeting on Wednesday, September 19 at the Ardrossan Hall, and we hope to see you then. Until then, remember ...... "Live a good and honorable life, then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time."