The Farmer's Side of the Story — Letting Rick Mercer Drive Your Combine

It’s not often a farmer gets to show off — and explain — what’s happening in his wheat field on national television during primetime hours. Humphrey Banack of Round Hill, Alberta had the opportunity this fall when he hosted comedian Rick Mercer and his CBC camera crew for a day of combining wheat (if you haven’t seen the episode, you can (and should) watch it here.)

Rick Mercer (credit Jon Sturge/CBC)
Rick Mercer (credit Jon Sturge/CBC)

The shoot was originally supposed to take place during the 2013 harvest, but Mercer and his production crew got a lesson in how farmers are impacted by weather, as filming was postponed last fall and again on September 7th of this year due to rain. September 22nd ended up being the day that the CBC team visited the farm.

More from the Ag Excellence Conference in Winnipeg

Banack admits there was some apprehension among family members about being in the spotlight, and he figures he lost between 7 and 8 hours of combine operating time. That’s a small price to pay to help Canadians understand what happens on farms, he said, speaking at the Ag Excellence Conference in Winnipeg this past week.

“That part is absolutely huge to us,” he says in the video below. “The loss in time is part of what you have to do to do that. Sometimes you have to step away from your operation for a while and your operation will take a small loss in productivity, but we believe that’s very critical to agriculture in the future.”

Banack discusses why it’s important farmers share their side of the story, how the RMR episode came about, and Mercer’s unfortunate incident involving a handful of hand-threshed wheat kernels:


Related: Tom Vilsack Gets Interviewed by Rick Mercer

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