Janel Schemper was 5 months old when she made her first harvest journey.
“Harvest for me is a way of life,” the third-generation custom cutter said.
Schemper Harvesting, based in Holdrege, Nebraska, goes back more than a half-century, started by her grandfather. Today, the operation includes her parents, LaVern and Carlene, and her brothers, JC and Jared.
They cut wheat every year from Frederick, Oklahoma to North Dakota.
She started driving the combine at 13, she said. The job and family tradition has taught her life lessons: exceptional work ethic, honesty, responsibility, dependability, business professionalism and a dedication to fulfill the harvest season year after year.
Schemper said she joined the All Aboard Wheat Harvest in 2017 and gained a new nickname from High Plains Journal readers.
“It’s Princess Kate,” she said. “I truly appreciate each and every one of the messages and overall support from (All Aboard) followers. I’ve had a few messages that said, ‘Thanks for being a voice for us.’”
During the harvest offseason, Schemper hauls grain and does human resources work for Schemper Harvesting, plus sells crop insurance policies.