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Homer prepares for annual threshing bee

By Staff | Aug 12, 2011

Setting up a steam tractor to run a threshing machine requires a bit of finess on the controls as is demonstrated at the 9th annual West Central Region Cockshutt and Co-op Club threshing bee in Homer in 2009.

By LARRY KERSHNER

Farm News news editor

HOMER – According to Don Lamb, who farms near this former Webster County seat town, the 2011 oat harvest was near perfect as he and other organizers for the annual Homer Threshing Bee nears its two-day run on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28.

Lamb said visitors to the site will be able to see a McCormick-Deering separator threshing oats, grown on Lamb’s land. The separator will be belt-operated by a 1902 Port Huron steam engine. Threshing demonstrations will be held at 11 a.m. both days, plus at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 27 and at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The annual event, under the auspices of the West Central Region Cockshutt and Co-op Club will highlight Allis-Chalmers tractors during the 2011 event. A tractor ride is scheduled Sunday morning around the Brushy Creek area.

Helping to seperate the wheat from the chaf, John Griffith, of Cambridge, feeds stalks into the thresher at the 9th annual West Central Region Cockshutt and Co-op Club threshing bee in Homer in 2009.

This is a unique ride, Lamb said, because many rides follow hard-surfaced roads, “but this is completely in the country. People really enjoy this ride.”

Other sights to see include an all-wood frame 1890s Port Huron saw mill, donated by the Cecil Widick family, belt-operated by Massey-Harris 44; displays of antique and other gas-powered tractors; a McCormick hay press; and various hit-n-miss engines in operation.

Lamb said a McCormick binder was used to shock the grain. The bundles are now stored under a roof and awaiting the bee.

“These are the best oats we’ve had in the past five or six years,” Lamb said.

He described last year’s wet bundles causing repeated clogs in the separator, but doesn’t expect that to be a problem this month.

The LeHigh Lions’ Club will serve a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Aug. 27 and the West Central Club will serve lunch both days.

A $5 admission fee will get visitors in both days. It’s $5 for Sunday only.

Homer is located eight miles north of Stratford on R-21 along the border of Webster and Hamilton counties. From U.S. Highway 20, take exit 136 and follow R21 south for four miles.

For additional information, contact Lamb at (515) 838-2070, or Bob Halliday (515) 297-3775.

Contact Larry Kershner at (515) 573-2141, Ext. 453 or at kersh@farm-news.com.

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