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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Food Grains Harvest

Last week was the Food Grains Harvest in La Crete.

I found out this was happening just after driving through the night from Edmonton, arriving in La Crete just after 10am. This was about the time when Lisa, my co-worker from the Pioneer, called me to tell me I had an event to be at in a few minutes.

I wanted to cry. I was so tired, and I hadn't slept in I don't know how long. But, up I got, showered and ready for the Food Grains Harvest, just outside of La Crete.

I got there, mingled a bit, had a BBQ lunch, and started taking photos. I met some ladies who were telling me a bit about the event, since I had never been to a food grains harvest before.

From what I've learned, every year there is a field donated from the Mackenzie County (near La Crete) and a field is harvested each year for the Food Grains Harvest. Everything is donated: the seeds, fertilizing, harvesting, trucking, etc. This year, over 5,200 bushels of canola was harvested, making just over $52,000. This cost is then matched 4 to 1.

I was introduced to a wonderful man by the name of Willie Friesen, who let me ride with him in his combine. I had never been in one before, and coming from a family of dairy farmers and cheese makers, I sure didn't know a lot about harvesting canola. Thanks to my friend Willie, I do now.

I rode with him for about an hour, which was how long it took the nine combines to harvest the field. Though I was so tired, I wanted to learn more about farming in Northern Alberta, oil, and logging.

Now, this machine is nothing like the tractors I'm used to. This was a giant, sexy, green, John Deere, luxurious machine! I mean, this thing had air conditioning! And there were so many computers in there, I'm sure that if I weren't in there with him, he would have been on facebook. You can even watch movies and listen to music in there. Why would you ever need to leave?

I think these Albertan farmer's have it made pretty good out here.

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