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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local Rancher, Shane Wagner, will be operating a 1914 Robert Bell Steam Engine and a historic threshing machine to clear the fields around Fort St. John this weekend.

According to Wagner, this steam engine is one of only two portable Robert Bell engines that operate in Canada. This engine was purchased in London, Ontario.

Wagner says this will be a live demonstration to show the process of old-time grain harvesting and threshing.

“You cut your oats with a binder, you stook them, and then when it’s time to separate the grain from the straw, you go out with a team of horses and a bundle rack and pitchforks, and you load the stooks on the bundle rack and you haul them to a thresh machine and fork them in by hand. It separates the into a pile and puts the grain in a grain box.”

For the past 15 years, Wagner has been threshing and says he has been doing it for the purpose of fun and to keep agricultural history alive.

On Sunday, September 29, members of the public are welcome to watch the steam engine and threshing machine in action from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the Fort St. John side of the Taylor Hill, weather dependent.

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