05 Jun Hello! Let’s get to know one another…
Greenfield, Iowa – Let me introduce myself as the newest member of the All Aboard Wheat Harvest correspondence team. I am Brian G. Jones of Greenfield, Iowa, and I am a second generation farmer and wheat harvester. I was born and raised on a family farm about 50 miles Southwest of Des Moines in the rolling hills of Southwest Iowa. In 1983 my father Glen Jones and grandpa George Rahn began (unknown to them at the time) a 35+ year legacy of wheat harvesting across the Midwest for our family.
During the tough financial times for farmers in the 1980s we were looking for additional income to keep financially viable during the farm crisis. With combines being such expensive investments we were inspired by George’s brother who ran a custom harvesting crew to load up our own equipment and head to Oklahoma. From knocking on farmer’s doors randomly in the countryside to referrals from locals, one job lead to another that moved us northward one state at a time. As they say, the rest is history, and today we are preparing for the 2018 harvest run, our 36th harvest season.
Our crew is completely a family operation. Glen Jones and his wife Vernelle farm in Southwest Iowa with their son (thats me!) Brian Jones and their daughter Brenda and her husband Cameron Hamer. Brenda and Cameron have 4 young boys, and all 9 of us spend the summer working together harvesting. My grandfather George Rahn retired from the wheat run after 27 years. His son David Rahn (my uncle) now operates the Rahn family farm near Butterfield, Minnesota. David joins us with his equipment each summer, continuing the Jones-Rahn Harvesting legacy.
Back in Iowa the Jones and Hamer families work together raising corn, soybean, and hay along with running a cow-calf herd. We also do some customer farming and harvesting locally as well. With spring planting finished and the cows turned out to pasture, we load up equipment typically early June and head to our first stop in central Oklahoma, followed by two stops is southwest Kansas, western Nebraska, central South Dakota and southern North Dakota.
The weather has been uncooperative this year, with extreme drought in the Southern Plains and severely delayed planting in the Dakotas from a never-ending winter. That’s why I’m excited to share this year’s adventure with you, with updates through blog posts and videos from the combine cab. You’ll get a front-row seat into the unique lifestyle of a customer harvester.
What’s trailer house living like for three months in 5 states?
What it’s really like to pilot an enormous, high-tech combine 7 days a week.
What happens when the weather is uncooperative or there is a drought? I can’t wait to show you…in real time, from the combine seat all summer long.
Are you ready to join in on the adventure? Get on board…because the All Aboard Wheat Harvest experience is about to begin, and I can assure you this harvest will be unexpected, entertaining, and educational!
All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Brian Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.