All Aboard Harvest | Janel: Hello Harvest 2018
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Janel: Hello Harvest 2018

Janel: Hello Harvest 2018

Holdrege, Nebraska – Hello harvest 2018. I am Janel Schemper and am a third generation custom harvester. Harvest has been a part of my life forever. Trucks and combines is my middle name and Princess Kate is my nickname according to my AAWH followers.

I look forward to the harvest every year, but it’s tough to find motivation for harvest this year. With all my years of going on harvest experience, I can tell you that no two years are the same. This year we are struggling with a drought down south. Far less acres and low yields are not what I want any harvest to be. A lot of the wheat was baled up this spring which is disappointing.  All I want to do right now is run the combine and fill some trucks, hour after hour, day after day, just the way harvest is supposed to be. Harvest is typically super busy, but it doesn’t always work that way. Mother Nature plays a huge role in our custom harvesting occupation. My mom, Carlene Schemper, says that in her 45 years of harvesting she’s never seen it look this bad going south (Nebraska to Texas) for harvest.

Harvest has become a family tradition for Schemper Harvesting. Our business started in the 1950s by my grandpa, Jerry Schemper. I can remember my dad, LaVern Schemper, running Gleaner combines for a long time and then he switched to Case combines for a short while and then I got to grow up operating John Deere combines. Our harvest run starts in the Frederick, Oklahoma area. We’ll journey up the central Midwest states, harvesting wheat fields in Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota. We’ll also harvest chickpeas, lentils and canola in the northern states on our harvest run. Our fall harvest is at home in Nebraska where we will harvest corn and soybeans.

Going on harvest is what I’ve gotten to do my entire life. Our harvest stops remain pretty consistent year after year but occasionally our harvest route does change. Farms and land ownership change hands and that’s just the way it is sometimes. I do look forward to seeing our harvest friends along our harvest route every year. I’ve always felt fortunate being a part of a custom harvesting family. I did miss all of the home activities that most kids enjoy but I made up for it by creating my own. My friends at school would sometimes question me a lot for being gone all summer long and I’d get asked lots and lots and lots of questions about harvest, and I’d do my best to answer them. Overall, you’ll never fully understand the harvest unless you experience it for yourself. What we have is a family business that harvests the grain that feeds the world.  I got to attend bible school in Oklahoma and church in towns on our harvest trail and it was quite wonderful. I also took swimming lessons in Coldwater, Kansas which I loved. I have seen a lot of country and traveled many miles. I do believe that during summer and fall harvest that is when our country’s true beauty really shines. I have a phone full of harvest pictures and can’t believe how many beautiful sights and sunsets I consistently get to see through the windshield. It truly is amazing. Harvest has taught me the value of time because it is seasonal work. We’ve got to work hard when we have the opportunity because there’s a time frame to get the crop harvested, especially before bad weather damages it. I’ve gained a strong work ethic and have the ability to handle any work that needs to be done with having a can do attitude.

Harvest has taught me responsibility and dependability too. We count on the farmers for the work probably just as much as they count on us to get the crops harvested on time. I have learned to accept and do my job well and to not ever complain about work but be glad for the opportunity and ability to work. We do our best to keep moving forward as efficiently as possible even when it requires working well into the night. When the conditions are right that is often what we have to do. I have also learned all about patience through the custom harvesting business. It sometimes seems that we are in the “hurry up and wait business.” We may push hard to get to our next job or field, only to find out that the crop is not quite ready yet or a rain shower (or hail) beats us to it. One thing about it is we always do the very best to our ability. I have been dedicated to the American harvest for a long time. Please pray for the harvesters. I have a feeling that for at least the first 30 days of this harvest it may be a rough road due to the drought.

Schemper Harvesting

My dad, LaVern Schemper, harvesting in the 1970s. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

This is what our harvest crew looked like in 1982. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

LaVern Schemper harvesting wheat on a terrace in the 1980s. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

LaVern Schemper harvesting wheat in the 1980s. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

LaVern Schemper harvesting wheat in the 1980s. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

Janel and Dad in a wheat field on a harvest route in the 1980s. My Dad always has the best summer tan. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

Schemper Harvesting back in the L2 Gleaner days. LaVern Schemper is pictured running combine, picking up wheat. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

My Uncle, Lonny Schemper driving his truck and hauling his combine in the 1980s. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

Lonny Schemper Harvesting all loaded up and ready to hit the road in the 1980s. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

Janel Schemper in a wheat field riding with Mom in a grain truck in the 1980s. We hauled many loads together. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

We must have had a rain delay. Janel Schemper enjoying a county fair ride in a small Midwest town along our harvest route in the 1980s. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

Mom and her four kids at our first harvest stop near Vernon, Texas. Pictured are Janel, Julie, JC, Jared and Carlene Schemper. (Photo by LaVern Schemper).

 

Schemper Harvesting

Janel Schemper is always behind the wheel! This Cabbage Patch Kids hot wheel in the 1980s was the best. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

Four Schemper kids taking a picture with the cowboy statue in Wall Drug, South Dakota along our harvest route. Pictured are JC, Julie, Janel and Jared. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

 

Schemper Harvesting

Miss Moo and I on harvest in South Dakota in 2010! I’m glad we took the time for a photo shoot even though it was hot and humid that morning. Photo by Megan Sugden Photography.

 

Schemper Harvesting

Miss Moo loves to play fetch!

 

Schemper Harvesting

LaVern and Carlene Schemper received a U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc. Hall of Fame award January 27th, 2018 in Grand Island, Nebraska at the annual custom harvesters convention. Pictured are LaVern and Carlene, their four kids, three in-laws and eleven grandchildren.

 

Schemper Harvesting

I have been a harvester forever and always look forward to wheat harvest being in full swing. I enjoy getting to drive trucks and run a combine every single day (unless it’s raining or we’re looking for work)! I’m no stranger to hanging up work wanted flyers in places along our harvest route. (Photo by Janel Schemper).

 

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere.  Janel can be reached at janel@allaboardharvest.com

6 Comments
  • Charlie klein
    Posted at 09:26h, 02 June Reply

    Looking forward to following your crew on the 2018 harvest. I have enjoyed looking at the allaboard harvest posts in the morning with my coffee.

    • Janel Schemper
      Posted at 18:03h, 13 June Reply

      Hi Charlie! Thanks a lot for your message! Janel🌾

  • Norm Rotruck
    Posted at 09:48h, 02 June Reply

    Good luck and blessings in the 2018 harvest season! Hope things improve and look forward to your posts!

    • Janel Schemper
      Posted at 18:03h, 13 June Reply

      Thank you!! Janel🌾

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 21:11h, 03 June Reply

    Super Stuff Janel !! Weather runs in cycles ,global warming ,I don’t think so . What part of Nebraska is Holdrege in ? My wife Sandi & I were in your State in 2017 coming back from Denver to visit our Jacob , we tried to hook up with the Z “s but the time line wouldn’t do it .Still bummed about It. What is Miss Moo up to ?

    • Janel Schemper
      Posted at 18:02h, 13 June Reply

      Hi Tom! How are you? Holdrege is in the south central part of Nebraska on highway 183. Thanks again for your message! Janel🌾

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