High Plains Journal All Aboard Wheat Harvest


A Big ‘Ole Genuine Thank You!
Z Crew

Z Crew
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Claude, TX – We came to town as strangers. No one in Claude knew who we were; yet, they made us feel welcome. Jim and I commented more than once how friendly everyone was. By the end of our stay (just a little more than two weeks), we knew if we had the opportunity to return, we most certainly would.
Z Crew
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Z Crew
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I’d like to introduce you to a few of our new-found friends and thank them for going above and beyond in helping us while we were in their community. It meant the world to us!

First off, to Bryan, our farmer…you told me right off the bat you didn’t want any pictures. 🙂  No pictures, Bryan, but a big ‘ole genuine THANK YOU for everything you did for us. You offered your tractor, grain cart and a place to call home. You didn’t know us and yet you chose to go out of your way to help us. On our final night in Claude you took us out for a nice meal and we had a wonderful time. Both Jim and I feel we found a new friend in you and we appreciate that – and we hope to see you again next year!

Ben Ballard was the fuel man who helped Jim every morning with the process of getting fuel each day. Ben’s daddy opened the doors in 1929. At that time, they were tied up with a company by the name of “The Texas Company” – later becoming Texaco. The business is currently owned by WTG Fuels, Inc. Ben always had a good story to share with Jim each morning. He was also a very trusting man. He knew nothing about us or our business and yet he helped us more than most would! THANK YOU, Ben!

Z Crew
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Z Crew
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Speaking of stories…the stories of Buster and Alex always made me smile. These two young men just graduated from high school and were working at the elevator during harvest. Buster grew up on a ranch and knows what hard work is. Alex is Buster’s buddy. They both did an outstanding job of making sure the wheat left the truck, went into the pit and doors were closed properly before leaving the area. There were only 28 graduating seniors in their class. Of those 28, nine of them are going into the military. That’s a large percentage of their class wanting to fight for our freedoms! Buster is one of the nine and Alex hasn’t made up his mind yet – but he’s thinking about it. When the final load of wheat was dumped for the Z Crew, Alex jumped into the back of Frank and climbed the box to the very top and kicked all of the wheat out of the corners for us. Now that’s going above and beyond! THANK YOU, Buster and Alex (sounds like a comedy duo)! God bless both of you and the roads that life leads you. You’re going to go far with your work ethic and attitude!!

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Z Crew
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While we were in town, we had an idea for a decal we wanted made to put on the combine. Jenna created the artwork which we took to a local shop to have produced. THANK YOU, Todd Peden, for helping us above and beyond! You put way more time into that than we ever intended but the outcome was perfect! You and your son were great to work with and I would highly recommend you to anyone in the area!

Z crew: because it's what harvesters do.
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The final shout out goes to the owners (Terry & Joyce) and employees (Shay and Heather) of the eating establishment in town called “Mighty’s.” Each time we were there, the line was near the door or sometimes out the door. There’s only four of you. Four people who do a tremendous job of cooking and serving for your community. And their food is amazing…homemade onion rings and fresh cut French fries. They take pride in making everything fresh. If you want one of the very best “Texas Steak” sandwiches (Philly Steak), you gotta stop! The community of Claude is very lucky to have such a great place to get a quality meal at a reasonable price – and it’s SO DARN GOOD! THANK YOU, Terry, Joyce, Shay and Heather!

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Z Crew
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Heather, Shay, Joyce and Terry – tell them all hello from the Z Crew when you stop in!


To the community of Claude, Texas…thank you for making our lives a little more “normal” while calling your community home for a few days. Hope to see you all next year!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. The Z Crew can be reached at zcrew@allaboardharvest.com.

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14 Responses to A Big ‘Ole Genuine Thank You!
Z Crew

  1. When Sandi & I were in Texas a couple of years ago we had a similar experience with small towns there. Sure a great bunch of folks.

  2. Great post! Thank You for years of delightful insight into your life and the harvest of this necessary crop!!

    • Why thank you, Paul! It’s been our intention from day one to give the world a better idea of what we do. I hope it’s been accomplished!

  3. I just have to leave a comment. I’ve got wheat chaff in my blood, grew in Chase county Nebraska more years ago than I like to admit. It was unofficially known as the “buckle of the wheat belt”, spent a lot of July fourths in the harvest field. Always wanted to follow the harvest but it wasn’t meant to be so I guess that is why I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work and thank you and your crew for bringing in God’s harvest. You people are the salt of the earth.

  4. Aw, Kenn…this just made my day! I’m so glad to know there are people out there who appreciate our piece of the large picture. The farmer plants and nurtures the crop with love and care. It’s good that we get to help bring in the crop and see the smile on his/her face. The harvest can and is the most critical point of the crop! If there’s no harvest, there’s no food on our table. This goes for all of Ag. And, I’m sure glad you can following the harvest now via technology!

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