Going for a new world record – again
Francois Latour was at the Ottawa Valley Farm Show last week promoting his next world record challenge. He needs 150 working threshing mills to take part in a 15-minute threshing bee at the St. Albert Cheese Festival in August of 2019, and says he expects about 200.     Vetter photo

Candice Vetter
Villager Staff
OTTAWA – Francois Latour of Guinness Book of World Records fame is gearing up for his second record-breaking threshing bee next year. Latour broke the world record at the St. Albert Curd Festival in 2016 with 111 machines all threshing simultaneously for 15 minutes. He did it partly to raise money for breast cancer awareness, and to honour his wife who died of cancer the very next day.

He had only needed to pass the former record holders in Saskatchewan, organized by Ken Mack, who in 2013 had 41 mills threshing at the same time. Latour was astonished and gratified by the local response of 115 mills (of which only four didn’t operate as expected). Mack and many of his Saskatchewan volunteers were at the Curd Fest to congratulate Latour. But Latour was disappointed when, only a year later, his record was broken in Austin, Manitoba, by a group called Harvesting Hope, which donated funds and grain to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum and Canadian Foodgrains Bank. There, 138 mills worked simultaneously (out of 148).

At that time. Latour was determined he would take the record back, and started calling on his supporters. This year they have started the crop rotation on the St. Albert Cheese Factory’s 200 acres, getting ready for the barley that will be harvested in 2019.

Latour was at the Ottawa Valley Farm Show in mid-March where he told The Record that he already has over 150 threshers ready to bring their threshing mills next year, and he fully expects to end up with over 200 participants.

His 2015 event was held at the Curd Festival in August, on one of the hottest days of the year, following a record-setting rain storm the day before which turned the pathways between the threshers on the site into a quagmire. The humidity and heat didn’t affect operations as the grain had been cut, stooked and stored well before the event.

Having it as part of the festival also meant lots of spectators, who then had the opportunity to sample locally produced beer and wine, not to mention cheese, and listen to entertainment provided by St. Albert Cheese, which always attracts a good crowd.

If Latour does get 200 participants that will be a really tough record to break. Once again, funds raised will go to support the cause of breast cancer awareness. To register call Latour at 613-720-1845.