All Aboard Harvest | Tracy Zeorian – Z-Crew
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Tracy Zeorian – Z-Crew

Tracy Zeorian – Z-Crew

Tracy Zeorian has followed the ripening trail of wheat since she was 12 years old.

Zeorian’s grandparents, Elvin and Pauline Hancock, had been making the annual harvest run from Texas to Montana since 1951.

Tracy said she met her husband, Jim, who was part of the crew, in 1975. They married in 1982 and purchased their first combine that fall.

These days, Tracy drives the combine and Jim drives the truck. She couldn’t imagine another lifestyle.

“I think it is the adrenalin you get each time you pull into a field knowing it needs to be cut,” she said. “You work on it until it gets done, you work through the storm clouds and whatever challenges there are. Then you start all over again.”

They raised their daughters in the wheat field–Jamie, Jenna, Taylor Callie. Now they have three grandchildren coming to the field when they can.

“They get in the combine,” she said. “How my grandpa is smiling from ear to ear knowing we are still in the wheat fields.”

“It is just a great way of life. We are definitely not going to be rich from it, but we became rich from a great family.”

Limon, Colorado - The custom harvester continues to struggle with the 2018 harvest season.

What began in May with severe drought in the southern states and the late season freezes, continues now with the nasty four-letter word…hail. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, the images on social media will provide you with a pretty good idea of what we’re up against.

I honestly believe when a farmer plants and cares for a crop, he doesn’t do it with the hope of harvest being eliminated by the Great White Combine. If that’s the case, why even farm?

Photo credit to Amanda Buus Thomsen of

Limon, Colorado - Goodness, it's such a catch 22. I either have enough time to do the things I need to do (which means we're doing nothing in the field) OR I'm scrambling to figure out how to make it all work.

I'm behind on catching the world up to what we're up to. I'm behind on paying bills. I'm behind on getting laundry done. Where do I start? But it's like this because we're working...and that's a GOOD thing. A very good thing.

Nice wind-blown hairdo there TZ! Shana and I have "known" each other for some time. But we've

Garden City, Kansas - Music has a way of taking a person back to a time and a place that meant something. The song, "The Boys Are Back In Town", was popular the summer of 1976. A time when I was a whole lot younger and never dreamed that one day I would be as old as I am now. Tunes and lyrics tend to make me a little sentimental these days! This one always meant a lot to me because it reminded me of the little towns we once pulled into during the harvest journey. I remember the days when the

Garden City, Kansas - The word that has been out of most farmer's vocabulary for a very long time, recently returned. RAIN...

It never seems to fail. As soon as the combines are unloaded and ready to go to work, it rains. I know I've said this before but I'm going to say it again. I honestly believe we custom harvesters need to travel the country with our loaded combine, unload it and wait. It won't take very long. It typically happens shortly after our arrival to a new destination. I would hate to say, "I guarantee" because there are no

Chase, Kansas - It's amazing how fast you lose all track of time and days of the week while on harvest! I often question myself what day of the week it is. So, when someone asks a question that involves a day, I'm like, "Ummmm...let me think. What day is today? I think it was on Monday. No, maybe it was Tuesday. Wait...Oh, dang! I have no idea what day it was." And I've only been on harvest time since Sunday.

We arrived with our final load on Saturday evening about 8:30 p.m. We parked the combine and immediately headed to

Manley, Nebraska - Who mows their yard at 11:00 pm? Me. Thank goodness for headlights on the mower! Actually, it was sort of like cutting wheat at night - a good change from the norm.

I'm certain the neighbors looked out their window once or twice to see what the heck was going on and why in the world is she mowing now? The days before leaving home for the next several months is so stressful. It gets to the point where you've just got to be done with the little things you thought needed to be done and leave. Once

“The harvest drive is on again,
John Farmer needs a lot of men;
to work beneath the Kansas heat,
and shock and stack and thresh his wheat.”
~ Harvest Land, by T.D. and H, From the Little Red Song Book.
Manley, Nebraska - When I tagged along with Grandma and Grandpa for the first time in 1974, living on the road and chasing the ripening wheat was all new to me. I had no idea what challenges they went through or sacrifices they made. I just knew they were away all summer. I didn't have a clue how the business worked. What I

Manley, Nebraska - This morning, I grabbed my cup of coffee, checked email, Facebook, Twitter and then just sat in my chair looking out the window at a tree in the yard. The images I see all over social media are of combines…and wheat fields. And I’m feeling a bit left out of the “fun”. I think the invitation to the party was mailed and it got lost – or at least a bit diverted for now.

We’re hoping to get started with our summer wheat journey approximately June 15. Because of the severe drought in Texas, we lost every acre we

Manley, Nebraska - Do you know how difficult it is to write an introductory blog when you feel like you’re saying the same old thing? Sort of like “second verse, same as the first”!

How do you NOT tell the same old story when it’s your story? When it’s who you are and how past events led you to where you are right now? I guess I could fabricate some sort of wild tale but then that wouldn’t be who I am.

I have been asked to speak about custom harvesting which led to the creation of a

Chester, Montana - It took us almost three full days to get to Chester, and we were driving the speed limit most of the time! I think it was the late starts (and extended visiting) that probably had a lot to do with the time frame.

On Thursday, we didn't leave Jamie's house until well after noon. We had to get in a couple more baby snuggles before we headed north again. Then, we made it back to Chadron for the night. It was the craziest thing, though. As we made our way down the hill into town, it was completely