Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The festivities for the 28th Annual Havre Festival Days include an opportunity to watch how local farmers harvested crops some 70 to 80 years ago as retired Gildford farmer Arvid Ous demonstrates the use of vintage equipment Saturday. Ous said he demonstrates the equipment fairly often, but he decided that with the theme of this year’s Festival Days “Havre Days Gone By” he would make the demonstration part of this year's celebration. “I just have fun doing it,” he said. Ous said he has quite a collection of vintage farm equipment and will be using several pieces of machinery during the demonstration, set to start at 4 p.m. at the Great Northern Fairgrounds. While Ous will use several different kinds of equipment, the highlight will be demonstrating a 1940 McCormick-Deering thresher, manufactured by International Harvester. “It will be a threshing demonstration,” he said. Threshing was the technique used by farmers to remove the chaff from the edible part of harvested grain before sending the commodity off to market. He will also demonstrate a 1930 John Deere haypress, used to press straw and hay for storage before modern balers came into use, and a chopper used to cut hay or straw for storage in silos, mainly used by dairy operations to store food for their livestock. Ous said the rows of smaller, narrow silos that can still be seen on the Hi-Line were where the chopped feed was stored. He will have a string of vintage equipment to run the thresher, press and chopper as well. Ous said he will be using a 1914 eight-horsepower flywheel engine to drive the hay press, a 1926 Huber tractor on the chopper and a 1926 Rumely oilpulled tractor on the thresher. Ous said he enjoys restoring the vintage equipment, although finding parts and installing them can be difficult at times. “It’s quite a chore getting it going again, some of it,” he said. He is now working on branching off into another vintage field, collecting and learning how to sharpen and maintain old-style plow shares something he said is becoming a lost art. Ous said he often holds his demonstrations in Gildford but he has also demonstrated the equipment for local schools including for K-G and Blue Sky before the schools consolidated into North Star schools. Ous plans to have a truckload of produce to thresh, chop or press, but he will see how many people show up before he decides how long to run the demonstration. “We’ll just kind of play it by ear,” Ous said.