One of my favorite highlights of harvest has always been having kids come out to the field – whether they’re a toddler or a pre-teen I absolutely love having little ones around. Watching that proud smile beam across their face as they confidently drive the combine while perched up on your lap will certainly make your heart melt. The look of curiosity in their eyes as they squish their nose up to the window to watch in awe while the combine unloads on-the-go with the grain cart is something that brings out my biggest grin. Showing them how to shell wheat between their hands and pick out the kernels to pop in their mouth to chew is always entertaining and often humorous. Teaching a city kid how to drive a manual pickup is a major challenge to endure. But, experiencing their first time successfully shifting through the gears makes it all worth it and that “high five” is one of the best ever given. Moments like this are truly priceless. The glimmer in their eyes and the giddiness to learn, do, and experience everything on harvest is uncontrollable. These feelings of sheer excitement from children are beyond contagious and are something that I have always thrived on.
As fate would have I am now a pediatric/labor and delivery nurse. Living in Wyoming and working at a rural hospital I’m able to relate to almost any child that I come across. Being able to talk “farm” or “cattle” with the kids helps me bond with my patients and their families in a very special way.
Even though I love my kiddos at the hospital, I still miss my kiddos out in the field. Luckily, this harvest season was filled with many surprises from children of all ages!
During our time in Hoxie, Kansas some of our cousins came to visit! Above: Taylor, Zach, and Ava show off their stalks of wheat before we show them how to shell the wheat by hand.
Mom shows Ava the underside of the stripper header. For many years Mom hauled us kids around harvest the same way. Exploring in the field is always fun, but safety comes first and little ones are often hard to see.
Taylor learned to drive the tractor and did a fantastic job! Growing up in Colorado Springs, Taylor tells me she is probably one of the only people in her class who can say she’s driven a tractor and combine.
Ava and Zach took turns riding in the tractor with me and the combine with Mom and Dad.
Ava loves harvest thiiiiiis much! A heartfelt thank you to the kid’s dad, our cousin Mark, for taking the time to bring everyone out to the field. We had a great time seeing you all!
When I was helping with harvest around Chadron we had a surprise visit from some very special people. Angie, our family friend who used to babysit us kids when we were little, spent many summers helping us chase the harvest around home. She made an extraordinary effort to track us down this summer so her own kids could experience harvest.
The whole gang poses in front of the big yellow beast! Back: Brandon, Angie, and Megan. Front: Lilli, Lukes, and Allison.
Brandon, Angie and the kids all piled into the cab for a combine ride. Our entire family of five used to squeeze into the TR95 cabs, which were half the size the CR cabs are nowadays. I wish we could find a picture of that!
When the crew was working around home we had visits from more cousins! Above: Ezra takes a break in the shade after truckin’ with James and Uncle Carl.
Of course, the girls, Chloe and Hadley, had to venture out with Mom and me. The girls snuggle up next to Mom before a combine ride.
Hadley and Chloe had to get out and stretch their legs while the combine was unloading on the truck.
One last picture with the girls in the combine before I head back to Sheridan for work.
All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Megan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.