High Plains Journal All Aboard Wheat Harvest

What makes a team (and I’m not talking football)?
Z Crew

Chester, Montana – Definition of team: “A group of people with different skills and different tasks, who work together on a common project, service, or goal, with a meshing of function and mutual support”.

The business of custom harvesting – or any harvesting – requires having a good team. If there is even one bad apple, it upsets the whole group. But, having a great team is one to celebrate and will be remembered for a long time!
Z Crew: Because it's what Harvesters do.
Ahmia with Brie and Connor (Picture credit Kerry Mattson)

I always told our girls, “There is no one job more important than another on this crew. It takes each and every one of us to get the job done”.  We each knew our job when it was time to pack, load, work and then pack, load, move and do it all over again.

Oftentimes, it feels like the members of the crew who are in the field are the most important ones…wrong! The one(s) providing the support of the team/crew should be viewed just as important (but is sometimes overlooked).

When a team is working together as a team should, it doesn’t function quite as well when one of the members is no longer part of the group. That’s how I felt last night when we came in from the field. I was again missing Ahmia this morning when it was time to make lunches. And I KNOW Kerry is missing her probably more than any of us.
Z Crew: Because it's what Harvesters do!
Ahmia (on the right) brought the kids to the field before she had to head for home.
Z Crew: Because it's what Harvesters do!
Kerry shed way less tears than I would have but I’m so bad with goodbyes. And I know my kids would agree with me!

I know how Kerry is feeling. When you become dependent on someone to pick up the slack and can depend on, the void is felt when they’re not there anymore.  Ahmia was hired to replace Kerry at home while she was in the combine and to help Brie and Connor (Vince and Kerry’s two kiddos). I mentioned her in my first post since arriving here at Mattson Farms. Ahmia also replaced Kennedy when she had to go back to college. Remember? They were tag-teaming the job.

When I first met Ahmia, I knew nothing about her. She was pretty quiet while she sat there ever so respectfully listening to the rest of the group as they gathered for the evening meal. I watched her watch everyone else. I also watched her jump in and do what needed to be done. I have always told my girls if there was any one thing I hoped I could teach them, it would be not to wait to be asked to do something. If you see something that needs to be done, just do it. Ahmia just did it.

One of the days that we had some time before going to the field, I visited with Ahmia. So smart, so respectful, so helpful, so responsible. “How old are you, Ahmia?” I asked. Her reply, “I’m 13. I’ll be in the 8th grade this year.” NO WAY!!! When I told Jim this, his reply was, “I think she’s fibbing. She’s got to be 18 or 19.” So when I was alone with Kerry, I asked her how old Ahmia was. She said, “13”.

What a kid she is! She took complete responsibility for the kids and all that was required with the job.  She babysat the kids all day. We would sometimes leave as early as 9:30 and not get home for 12 hours. In that time, not only did she take care of the kids, she woke up early and helped prepare 16 lunches, sometimes baked goodies for breakfast for the crew, prepared the evening meals (main dish was already done but she would also make a side dish and dessert), baked cookies, and even upon request – baked apple crisp. She can make better biscuits than I’ll EVER make.  When I had time to visit with her, Ahmia loved talking about her family, her grandma and how she enjoyed helping her uncle around the farm. She drives combine, tractor and just learned to drive a semi. I should remind you…she’s 13.

Over the past two weeks, Ahmia became one of the crew…one of the team. But she had to go home yesterday so she could begin doing what most 13 year olds do – attend school, volleyball practice and be with her friends.

And we miss her!

Someone once told me I put too much responsibility on my kids during the summer. My reply to them was, “How better could I teach them life lessons than by letting them experience life lessons?” I knew that when my girls were old enough to be on their own one day, they would be just fine. Ahmia will be just fine! And I know that young lady will do amazing things one day.

To you, Ahmia, I’d like to thank you for all your hard work, for always having a smile on your face, for jumping in and doing the job without having to be asked, for taking care of the rest of the team, for just being an amazing person! It was an honor to get to know you.  I hope you enjoy the 8th grade and have fun. I also hope we get to see you again one day.

And to Ahmia’s parents…thank you for raising such a responsible, awesome young woman!

A few pictures of what happened Monday (8/14). 
Z Crew: Because it's what Harvesters do!
Cutting chickpeas with the Sweet Grass Hills on the horizon.
Z Crew: Because it's what Harvesters do!
As I mentioned in my previous update, the chickpeas are very fragile and can split if too dry or if handled very often. One step in this game is eliminated and we go back to doing it the “old fashioned” way – the Z Crew way. There are no tractor/grain carts used in this process simply to eliminate one more transfer and one more auger.
Z Crew: Because it's what Harvesters do!
It just doesn’t look as beautiful on here as it did in real person!

Z Crew: Because it's what Harvesters do.
The #1 benefit of this job? The sunsets!

Z Crew: Because it's what Harvesters do!
Another field in the books!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Tracy Zeorian can be reached at zcrew@allaboardharvest.com.
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7 Responses to What makes a team (and I’m not talking football)?
Z Crew

  1. Ahmia,what a checked out young lady. She has life skills plus!! Super Post Tracy ,those Sun set pic are mint. Come north to Alberta for some too true Rocky Mountain vistas!

    • Ahmia, I meant every word that I wrote! It was a pleasure getting to meet you and be a part of the Mattson’s harvest with you! I hope we get to see you again next summer! Have a great year. Love ya!!

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