Threshers set world record in St-Albert

ST-ALBERT – Folks in St-Albert were part of a special moment on Sun., Aug. 11 when François Latour’s attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the number of threshers working all together at the same time was a success.

The previous record, set in Houston, Man., had 139 machines running together in 2016.

Traditionally, a thresher is used to separate seed from grain. The threshers used in the record attempt were invented in 1786 and have been replaced with automated threshers in the present day.

The Guinness World Records attempt to keep 250 threshing machines working simultaneously was a success. François Latour, (fourth from left) celebrated as Michael Empric, an official from Guinness World Records makes the record-breaking announcement.

A modern thresher does its job automatically.

In 2015 Latour set the record with 111 machines.

This time around he managed to get 243 of 250 threshing machines operating simultaneously. Only seven machines were eliminated for not working properly during the challenge.

Minutes away from the start of the event Latour was nervous and excited.

“We have been working for two years for this event and now it is just minutes away. I cannot wait for it to start,” he said.

Each thresher had a team of three people working on it during the event. The team had to keep each machine running for five minutes. One person looked after running the tractor and belt, which powered the thresher, while another used a pitchfork to feed the grain into the machine and a third made sure the separated grain was collected in a bag.

The 250 machines were divided up into groups of 10 with a steward watching over each group.

After the running time was completed, Sebastian and Mathieu Latour, pictured at left, celebrated with a hug.

When the event was finished the stewards reported back to Michael Empric who represents Guinness World Records who made the final tally.

When the record was announced, an emotional Latour thanked all of the volunteers who had helped to make it happen. He also thanked his sister, Juliette Forgues, as well as all of the businesses and community members who supported him.

More than 2,000 volunteers made the event possible with support of the entire community.

St-Albert’s Cheese Factory donated 70 acres of their land behind their buildings to stage the event and volunteers helped to bring all of the 250 threshers to the site.

Latour and his supporters had a few different goals in mind.

The first was the world record for the threshers. The second was to see if they could best the 2016 record made in Saudi Arabia where 8,264 women created the shape of the largest human ribbon.

Threshers from Ontario and Quebec took part in the record-breaking effort.

Latour’s second goal missed the mark. It fell short by several thousand. The total number of people who took up the challenge in St-Albert was 3,415.

A third goal was to raise as much as possible for breast cancer research.

Latour’s wife passed away from breast cancer in 2015.

By the end of the event, organizers announced $100,000 had been raised.

The event also raised $100,000 for breast cancer research. Here announcing the total raised were: Juliette Forgues (left), Sebastian, Mathieu, Stefanie, François Latour and Marie Claire Ivanski representing the Canadian Cancer Society.

Working away with pitchfork in hand.

Thousands of participants were part of the record breaking effort. Morin Photos