09 Aug Sage: Skinner Harvesting
Fort Benton, Mont.- I have kind of mentioned that we are cutting with another crew since the rest of our machines are in South Dakota. I’m going to take this time to talk a little bit about the Skinner Harvesting crew.
Dan and Stephanie Skinner are the owners and operators of Skinner Harvesting. They run three John Deer 9770’s. They have a blue and a brown Peterbilt, both 379s and two white Kenworth T-800’s. But the biggest asset on harvest, in Dan’s words, is his wife Stephanie and everything she does.
Dan has been on the harvest run since 1992 and Stephanie joined in 1997. Dan is out in the field managing the crew and keeping wheat in front of the combines, while Stephanie cooks and does the paperwork. They instruct their truck drivers to keep a strict log of their loads because Stephanie gives the farmer a day-to-day report of how harvest is coming along. They are extremely organized and efficient in their work and are extremely proud of what they do.
The very hardworking couple hires mostly hardworking young men, and that’s no exception this season. Everyone on their crew jumps at every opportunity to work. From combine operators to truck drivers, everyone is involved to get the job done quickly and efficiently. It can be very rare to see that in today’s society when cell phones, TV and video games consume most of their peers.
With the younger crowd, one may think there are a bunch of shenanigans that go on. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes they have fun, but they work hard and know the consequences of their actions. It helps that most of these guys have a lot of farm background so not only do they know the machines very well and how to run them efficiently, but they are also very mechanically able when it comes to repairing them. They have fun working on the machines and being part of the crew, which is their family for the summer.
Dad has known Dan for many years, as one of Dan’s stops has always been Cut Bank. They have been fairly close over the years and have worked together in the past. Since we do travel much of the same route, we have helped them cut and vise versa.
Dan is known for being a very hard worker, and after 19 years on the run, he has a ton of insight to harvest. Much of that knowledge he has turned into quotes, and whoever is on his crew year in and year out, they are quoting Dan all summer long.
I’ve said this a couple of times, but it is truly wonderful to have great people like Dan and Stephanie on harvest. It has been a pleasure working side-by-side with them this summer, even if they do run green machines.
The combines all lined up before another day of cutting.
One of the Skinner Harvesting Machines getting ready to dump (Photo by Stephanie Skinner)
All the machines cutting together (Photo by Stephanie Skinner)
Dan Skinner driving the Skinner Harvesting service truck
Stephanie Skinner getting dinner ready in the field
Sage Sammons can be reached at email@example.com. All Aboard 2010 Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop