22 May Emma: Gearing up and itching to go
This past week rain has come, but the three inches isn’t near enough. Granted, we’ll take what we can get when you can get it. Some rain is better than no rain.
I was blessed to be a part of the All Aboard tour last year and was able to share my family with all of you. This year, however, has been a challenge for Misener Family Harvesters. The drought isn’t the only tragedy we’ve faced, but the untimely death of my father, Ron who passed away December 7, 2010. This was not only a shocking loss to us, but all that knew him. He was always bright-eyed and bushy tailed, and ready to face a day. He will be missed.
Since Dad’s passing we’ve not only had normal challenges that we in the custom harvesting business experience, but have other challenges added to our plates. His shoes need to be filled, but those are mighty big shoes to fill. We are managing and I can only come to one conclusion why. Dad is with us.
He had a passion for the custom harvesting lifestyle. He always said, “it’s not a job when you love what you do – and it’s what I love to do. It’s a way of life.”
His enthusiasm hasn’t left us and that passion he has instilled in us is evident in how we’ve managed to pick up and keep going. He would want us to carry on and do what we all love which is harvesting.
Part of our carrying on is getting back to doing the things we’ve always done to prepare for harvest. We’ve been doing some preventative maintenance on our own machines, and machines for a few farmers in our area. We ready them for the start of wheat harvest by checking bearings, walker blocks, chopping knives and feeder chains. We also do some of the simple things like checking guards, sections, belts and chains; changing engine and hydraulic oil, greasing, and cleaning out the cabs.
These combines are our offices, so it’s important that they are clean and efficient – so that we can be as well.
When we get a new crew member – who may not see the point of waxing the combine – we give them a hard time. We say, “imagine it’s a $200,000 Ferrari, but two of them.”
It seems to put things into perspective, and gives them a little extra motivation.
Thad is from Nebraska and joined our crew in April. Joel is from Iowa and worked for us last year. We’ll also have Abby from Washington joining us at the end of the month. She’ll be working for us periodically throughout the summer. Abby has been with our crew off and on for four years.
We started last week moving things to our first stop in Gotebo, Okla. Dave and Dan have moved the combines, tractor, grain cart and support equipment. In a few days we’ll start taking the campers over. As usual plans have not exactly gone as planned. Our first farmer says that his wheat is still around 17 percent moisture. We expected to be harvesting by Friday, but due to the cooler temperatures and rain our harvest start will be delayed.
Ready to head south loaded on our signature green trucks. Maybe you’ll see us on the road. You’ll know it’s us when you see us-the only crew that drive sea green vehicles.
Dan took this picture. One of the fields we’ll be in looks about ready.
I’m looking forward to this harvest and all that will come with it. I’m excited to be posting on the blog and introducing you to my family, and our crew, and what being a custom harvester is all about. I think it’s safe to say that we’re all gearing up and itching to go.
Be Safe out there, and God bless!
Emma can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. All Aboard 2011 is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.