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2017 Harvest Prize Pack Giveaway and Survey
2017 Harvest Prize Pack Giveaway and Survey avatar

The 2017 All Aboard Wheat Harvest tour is beginning to wrap up. We are asking you, our loyal followers, to tell us what you think. This is your opportunity to express your opinions about the program and suggest ways we can improve.
In return, you’ll be entered in the prize pack giveaway drawing. Thanks to our great sponsors we have five prize packs to give away. 

To fill out the survey and be entered in the drawing, CLICK HERE.

Deadline is Tuesday, September 12, 2017.
Winners will be announced Wednesday, September 13, 2017. 

YETI Cooler

LIT Cooler with John Deere logo – We have two of these to give away.

Unverferth Grill Set

Variety Pack – OBHC coffee mug, John Deere tumbler, ITC YETI tumbler, Unverferth portable bank, AAWH t-shirt

Lindsey: Everyday adventures
Lindsey: Everyday adventures avatar

Photo by Lindsey Orgain

Lindsey Orgain joins AAWH’s Sarah Moyer to mull over her learning curve with custom harvesting as well as the everyday adventures she and her family encounter with their business. Tune in to step into the field with Lindsey.


Every day is an adventure, and we just kind of have to wake up and tackle the day.

Welcome on to this All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ podcast. I’m Sarah Moyer with Lindsay Orgain of Orgain Harvesting. We’re looking forward to talking about their operation in addition to some general custom harvesting questions. Without further ado, thanks for coming on, Lindsay. You didn’t grow up around the custom harvesting business, and you had married into it. So, some of your first experiences with it, what were your thoughts?

you know kind of one of the funny stories that I always kind of think back about, and I think Jason and I were still dating… I had gone down to, I think, we were around Chattanooga, Oklahoma. And I’d just gone down there for the weekend, and his family and everyone was there. But I had never even pulled a trailer that I can remember. And he’d hooked me on to a 35-foot header trailer, and was like, “Let’s go.” And so we took off, and we make this turn right onto a bridge. And I wasn’t really anticipating the bridge being there. And anyway, we made the turn just fine, but with a little help from his dad and one of his hired guys… ‘Cause I’d kind of turned a little short, and I was so embarrassed. And I thankfully haven’t had it an incident like that since. I think that’s something that can be taken for granted too is that everyone [hasn’t] pulled a trailer let alone a 35-foot trailer… It was just kind of funny. And I think that was just kind of an eye opener for Jason also that this isn’t going to just be a throw and go kind of thing, you know. It’s going to need a little more guidance about doing things… It’s kind of a funny thing that we still will kind of laugh about, but anyway… We got through it, and we’re here to talk about it today.

And along that, you are not only
here to talk about it today, but you have two kids that you get to help raise and be exposed to this lifestyle. So, some of the adjustments there I’m sure have thing gradual, and it’s all about small learning steps… but what were some of your first roles during harvest?

Still now, if I’m in the field, I’m typically in the tractor and grain cart. And it seems like during our fall harvest, that’s where I wind up. Typically, we might not have as much help in the fall as we do in the summertime… but certainly with two little ones, that doesn’t happen too often these days. So primarily I’m, you know, making sure everyone’s fed. When it’s time to move fields or whatever, you know, I’ll come out and drive a pickup – just whatever needs to be done.

that’s important to have some
people available.

Absolutely, now I think that Jason, he likes just having somebody like myself, whom is just kind of available to do
whatever might be done – just kind of have some feet on the ground. That’s how he puts it. [Someone] that’s not tied up in a machine or a truck all day. Kind of a jack of all trades, master of none, I think would be a good title for me.

Well, you help things run more smoothly during harvest, and as you mentioned, this is not a typical
year for the Orgain Harvesting crew with you and a new baby here that just arrived early summer. So, that’s been exciting. You all had a different harvest route than normal. Will you explain some of the adjustments that your harvesting business decided to make to adjust for both the number of wheat acres that were out there this year and having a new baby coming?

has been a different year for sure, as far
as acres go. You know, I’ve read and seen a lot about different diseases and drought; and fortunately where we have been, not been a huge issue. However, the acre count has definitely, definitely been down. One of our main customers in this area had to hay everything, which we are cattle ranchers ourselves…That’s something that we do and are prepared for, I guess – in a sense from other people just knowing more about that side of the agriculture industry. Jason had a friend tell him one time, “You know, if you’re combine is parked at home, you’re certainly not going to cut anything with it.” And that’s kind of been our motto, I guess you could say as we have moved on… that we may not have as many acres as we have in years past, but we will have you no acres if we don’t keep going.

We will digress to thank our sponsors, but in a moment we’ll talk about some norms for  custom harvesting that may be not as familiar to the
outside community. We would now like to thank our primary sponsors for this podcast: High Plains Journal and John Deere. Let’s jump back in, Lindsey. What is your outlook on the unpredictability that’s associated with custom harvesting?

day is an adventure,
and we just kind of have to wake up and tackle the day… just kind of be ready for what it throws at you, I suppose, and if that includes a month and a half old baby too... But she’s certainly been a really, really, really good baby. She’s not thrown a wrench in anything, so we’re very, very blessed and thankful for that. Every baby is a little different, but she’s been about as sweet as they get… 

A very good thing,
especially with the busy time that harvest is. Would you talk about some of the things that happen in the off season that are important to helping make harvest run smoothly during the harvest season?

suppose, probably with maintenance and things… You know we have a typically pretty good  fall run as well. S
o, when we wrap up wheat harvest, we have maybe a month or so usually to get home and kind of get our own farming done as far as plowing and getting some wheat in the ground, because we do graze quite a bit for our cattle. And then we get packed back up, and thankfully our fall acres are in Oklahoma. They’re in north central Oklahoma; so we are away from home, but not to Montana away from home. You know, we’re able to kind of be back and forth. You know, that can typically last anywhere from getting wrapped up around Thanksgiving, and then there’s been years that we’ve been finishing our fall harvest in December, January, February… just kind of depending on the weather. If it’s been a wet winter and fall, it’ll take a while; so then it feels like when wheat harvest it’s about to start again. And I guess as far as, you know, doing things to get ready for wheat harvest, I guess it’d just be typical maintenance… that might not happen as early as we’d hoped to just kind of depending on when our fall harvest gets wrapped up.

do you keep all of the paperwork straight, and how is that all
organized? Is that something you do on the road, or does some of it have to wait until you get back home?

None of our fall customers are wheat customers, so, you know, we don’t revisit
anybody.  I guess you could say [that] season to season. But our paperwork is typically just from job to job. We have to get everything wrapped up and done before we move on to the next customer. Having to worry about Farmer A while you’re trying to tend to Farmer B It’s a lot easier, I think, mentally and certainly on paper to just get everyone wrapped up as you move on. And sometimes, I guess, as far as when we’re collecting money from each farmer, we might wait until we’re ready to leave, because that can take a lot of time to go around and collect… and mostly just because everyone wants to visit and chat. And that’s perfectly fine, but it’s certainly something you have to kind of factor in time for… You know you’re not just going to go show up and grab a check and go. I don’t think that’s how this business works. You have to have those relationships with those farmers, and I mean they’re our friends too… Basically, you know you’ve got to factor in pretty much another day to kind of get that side of things totally done. That’s I guess you could say fun side of it too, because everyone likes to get paid. But then, you also finally, hopefully have time to chat and kind of get caught up on life, because certainly when everyone is in the field and working there’s not usually time to do that.

That sounds
like a classic case of what many agriculture producers experience, whether they be custom harvesters or not, is that relationship building and being neighbors no matter the distance.

Not growing up in this industry, that’s certainly something that I have come to love about
it is everyone who is in this line of work – be it on the harvesting side, on the producing side – I mean, they do this because they love it. You have to. I couldn’t imagine waking up every day and this being your job and not love it. Certainly on years like this, if you don’t have a passion for it, how do you keep going? How do you keep wanting to put more seed in the ground or load that combine up again?

With those remarks, that will conclude this All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ podcast with Lindsey Orgain of Orgain Harvesting. This production is made possible by High Plains Journal, John
Deere, AgriPro, Unverferth Manufacturing Company, I.T.C., the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children’s Ten Acre Challenge and you – our listeners. Thank you so much. I’m Sarah Moyer, and this has been your All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ podcast.

Mike: The final run
Mike: The final run avatar

Photo by Bill Spiegel

The 2017 wheat harvest marks Mike Barnett’s final run with the John Deere Harvester Works Customer Support Team. For this special edition of the All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ podcastMike talks with AAWH’s Sarah Moyer, explaining his perspective of custom harvesters persevering through the difficult year. He also comments on his team from this year and those from years past. Tune in to step out on the road with Mike.


It’s been a wonderful experience knowing these people. I’m fortunate that I got involved in this

Welcome on today’s special edition of the All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ podcast. I’m Sarah Moyer with round two from Mike Barnett. He is with the John Deere Harvester Works Customer Support Team. It was our pleasure to have him on last week, and as a recap (if you missed it) Mike has been with the John Deere Harvester Works Customer Support Team since 1991, which was the first year that they set out to the road along with the harvesters. Mike, we talked about your experience with the team. It is your final run on the harvest trail – a big year for you and your crew. When I met you at the Kickoff for All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ in Clinton, Oklahoma, it seemed like the relationship that you had with some of the harvesters there was a good one… Have you made some friendships through the years?

Like I said, the first year I went out we were kind of green…
 The first year I listened a lot more than I talked, but the next year we went out and things were a little bit better. And, you know, after the second year we went out, we went back. You know, we did more improvements. But just learning, talking to the guys… I’ve known some of them for a long time now. I’ve watched their kids grow up. It’s been a wonderful experience knowing these people. I’m fortunate that I got involved in this, because somebody told me once that harvest gets in your blood. And it does. I mean, it really does. I look forward to it every year. You know, it can be long hard days and some long hard hours, but to me it’s worth it. I really enjoy working with the end user customers and John Deere dealers, you know, all the way from Texas to Canada. It’s a great experience every year. And I really enjoy it, and I’ve learned so much about their business over the years and made some great friendships.

it doesn’t seem
like although this is your final run, you will probably try to make it back out to some fields for fun next year during harvest.

that’s the plan. I hope I have the opportunity to do that. I don’t think you’d just be able to walk away from it. You know, like I said, we made a lot of great
friends, and I talk to them, you know, a lot on the phone. And a big part too is U.S. Custom Harvesters Annual Convention We’re a big part of that. So that’s a three or four day event every year that we always attend. It’s pretty good time. We do clinics and classesjust get together and talk. And it’s a good place to exchange information, and we look forward to the convention every year too.

ahead to what you’ll be doing post-harvest this year What are you most looking forward to?

Well, when we get back after this harvest is over, I’ll have a few things, you know, that I’ll need to button up work
wise. And then I have to start the whole retirement process, and I’m not even sure what that is yet. I know it’s going to be a few phone calls and some emails, and [I’ll] try to get that all organized… Come up with a final date and a final day and I guess start planning the retirement party.

Will you be inviting any harvesters out to that?

Yeah, I’ve told
 several of them that it’s coming and they’re going to be invited. They all say the
same thing: “You gotta wait ’till harvest is over.” Well, we’ll just have to see how it works out.

And let’s go ahead and take a quick break here
midway, Mike. As we do continue, I’d like to talk with you about the struggles of customer harvesters this year. It has been a challenging year, as I know they would attest, and you would attest as someone who interacts with so many custom harvesters yourself. We would like to go ahead, though, before we get to that and thank our primary sponsors for this podcast. Those being High Plains Journal and John Deere – a great partnership with both of those entities.

Mike, this year has been a tough year for custom harvesters, in particular. And with all your experience, what do you
see as the response for custom harvesters and how they’ve persevered through tough years in the past.

Well, we were talking about that the other day. This has been a tough year for them, and it seems like the resiliency of these people has always amazed me.
What they were able to accomplish during the spring, summer and fall harvests has always amazed me and it does to this dayI know some of them are facing really tough runs. I couple of them I talked to are done… for the wheat harvest. But a lot of times if the wheat harvest doesn’t go so well for themthen they have a chance, you know, to kind of catch up or make up a little bit on their fall run. In some areas of the country, there’s going to be a few of them, you know that are going to have much of a fall run either. But we’ve had some tough years before.  They always bounce back... I’ve talked to him before when they’ve had rough years. They’re not sure about this and they’re not sure about that, and then the next year you go down to Texas and there they are and they’re ready to go again. They definitely have a never say die attitude. They’ve just been a joy to work with for all these years. And I’m going to miss it when it’s done. But it’s just, just time.

do you think you’ll miss most?

one of the things I’m going to miss most is working with my team… There’s been a lot of guys involved in this over the years. You know, I was lucky enough to been involved since the start, so like right now we’ve got some excellent guys on our team. And their young guys that understand, and they know combines. I try to, you know, teach them the business end of it with custom cutters… and what the custom cutters expect from us and everything else. And they are all willing to, you know, leave home for two or three weeks and put in some pretty hard days. They do an excellent job, and I’m definitely going to miss that part of it. It seems like we have one or two new guys every year that we take out. And there’s no better place for them to learn… It’s a good learning experience for them. It helps him out a lot in their jobs. That’s going to be a big part of it that I miss as well.

Those were some closing thoughts from Mike Barnett of the John Deere Harvester Works Customer Support Team
This is his final run on the harvest trail as a member of that team. He’s been with it since the beginning and is proud to be a part of the community out there on the harvest trail. If you missed last week’s be sure to go online under the “Media” tab and check out our first segment with him. You’ll also find other week’s podcasts under that tab on the allaboardharvest.com website… that being the same name for our Facebook page. And if you’ve missed us on Twitter, go ahead and check out @AllAboardTour for updates on postings and podcasts. Finally, we would like to thank our partners for this podcast – those being High Plains Journal, John Deere, AgriPro, Unverferth Manufacturing Company, I.T.C. and the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children’s Ten Acre Challenge. I’m Sarah Moyer, and thank you for tuning in to this All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ podcast.

Mike: Cutting down downtime
Mike: Cutting down downtime avatar

Photo by Bill Spiegel
Mike Barnett has well over two decades of experience on the wheat harvest trail as a leader with the John Deere Harvester Works Customer Support Team. For this special edition of the All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ podcastMike is on the line with AAWH’s Sarah Moyer discuss the evolution of this support team and how he started with the program. Tune in to step out on the road with Mike.

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Janel: Family of harvesters
Janel: Family of harvesters avatar

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest
Photo by Janel Schemper
Janel Schemper is on the line with AAWH’s Sarah Moyer to chat about Schemper Harvesting and the family involved with their operation. She also discusses her love of small town businesses, which line the harvest trail. Tune in to step into the field with Janel.

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Laura: Learning on the road
Laura: Learning on the road avatar

High Plains Harvesting (2017-Laura)
Photo by Laura Haffner

Laura Haffner and AAWH’s Sarah Moyer talk about balancing family and business during harvest. In addition to the lessons they find from the HPH crew, she focuses on her children’s character development and creating impactful experiences for them on the road. Tune in to step into the field with Laura.

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Steph: Harvest towns and capturing memories
Steph: Harvest towns and capturing memories avatar

Perspectives through the window.
Photo by Steph Osowski

Steph Osowski joins AAWH’s Sarah Moyer to discuss her important dots on a road map – her favorite harvest town, her hometown and Dodge City. She also provides an update on the “Cabover Alert” scores. Tune in to step into the field with Steph.

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Janel: Belonging in a wheat field
Janel: Belonging in a wheat field avatar

Photo by Janel Schemper

Janel Schemper joins AAWH’s Sarah Moyer to discuss growing-up, knowing she would one day be a custom harvester. They also add in a story about Miss Moo’s start on the harvest trail and discuss Janel’s favorite harvest foods. Tune in to step into the field with Janel.

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All Aboard Wheat Harvest Calendar Contest 2017
All Aboard Wheat Harvest Calendar Contest 2017 avatar

Submit your photos or vote for the 2018 AWWH Calendar Contest.

Our calendar contest is here! It’s time to submit your favorite snapshots of this year’s wheat harvest. Winners will be voted on by the public, so be sure to check the contest weekly and vote for your favorite. Deadline to submit a photo or vote is July 24, 2017.

Grand Prize: Feature placement in the 2018 calendar, $250, 1yr print/digital HPJ subscription
Honorable Mention: Calendar snap shot and 1yr print/digital HPJ subscription

For more information click HERE.

Special thanks to ITC Holdings Corp. for sponsoring this year’s calendar contest.