Powered by their own steam

Today (Saturday) is your last chance to get a glimpse into farming’s past at the 17th annual Waterloo County Steam Thresher’s Reunion as the three-day event wraps up for yet another year.
Displays include a demonstration of antique steam-driven grain threshers, antique tractor displays and horse-drawn wagon rides, among others.
“It’s the old type of tractors and machinery that people would use years ago that draws people every year,” said Amsey Metzger, who has hosted the event at his farm west of Wallenstein for the past three years.

THE WAY THINGS WERE Amsey Metzger hosts the annual Waterloo County Steam Thresher’s Reunion at his farm just outside of Wallenstein. He participates in the annual antique tractor run on his 1957 John Deere tractor.

“They want to see the tractors that were used years ago – it’s nostalgia, and we’re trying to get the younger people interested in the old machinery so they can carry it on.”
Entry to the event is just $5, or $15 per family and all the money goes to a good cause; anything over and above the group’s expenses will go to the Mennonite Central Committee and Gospel Echoes, which operates a prison-outreach program.
The decision of where to donate the money is decided on by the group’s executive, which meets every month starting in March to plan the reunion.
“We think both groups do good work so we chose to help them out,” said Metzger, adding that the group has also donated money to the Grand River Cancer Centre in the past.
The event sees nearly 2,000 people walk the grounds of Metzger’s farm to appreciate the old machinery, enjoy gospel music and taste the authentic steamed corn at their famous gospel sing and corn roast on Friday nights.
This year, the event kicked off with the annual antique tractor run on Thursday morning that left Metzger’s farm and made its way to Countryside Christian School in Hawkesville, where brunch was served as a fundraiser for the students.
Some 70 tractors participated in last year’s run from as far away as Guelph and Stratford, with about the same expected this year.
The reunion runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Metzger’s farm, R.R. 1 Wallenstein, 7590 Line 86. For more information visit their new website, www.waterloocountysteamthreshers.com.

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