25 May Megan: Transitions and wheat harvest
“Homesick.” Most people think this term refers to being away and longing to return home. For Roland Harvesting, this word means just the opposite. Our version of homesick means: We’re “sick” of being home and we’re anxious to hit the road for another harvest season. However, we all know that your home is simply where you make it and during harvest our home is at each and every community we have the opportunity to work in.
Last summer was definitely a year full of change and this harvest season is going to reflect these transitions for Roland Harvesting. The biggest change we will experience during the 2013 season is not having part of our usual crew join us for another run.
James and I graduated from the University of Wyoming and man-oh-man, are we excited! James earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, which is certainly not an easy task. As fate would have it, James is going to be a Mechanical Engineering Intern this summer for Case New Holland (CNH) in Grand Island, Nebraska. This is the only combine manufacturing plant in North America. Growing up around harvest and running New Holland equipment his whole life it should be interesting to see the other side of things! James was a very vital crew member on Roland Harvesting the last two summers as he was cross trained in everything and became an excellent combine operator. We are all sad that James won’t be returning on harvest for another year but we’re very proud of him and his new journey he is beginning. Plus, having “one of our own” on the inside is always a good thing!
As for me, I have my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and preparing to take my boards very soon. I’m still on the job hunt and looking for the right fit for me. With that being said, I will be a drifter yet again this summer. I hope to be back and forth on harvest but at this point it’s impossible to know what my summer will bring. Regardless, I will be a part-time correspondent and will be sure to update you all as often as possible. I plan to convince one of the other crew members to take photos when I am unable to be on the road. It’s not summer for me without harvest so chances are it’s going to be hard to keep me away.
This summer Roland Harvesting will have a bit of a different lineup which consists of a combination of experienced and new crew members. The veterans include: Alan (my dad), Brandon (my brother), and Jose. The rookies group is from the University of Wyoming and includes: Eric, Sam, and Kasey. As in previous years Dad and Brandon will mostly be running the combines and Jose will mainly be a combine operator as well. Eric, Sam, and Kasey will all be cross-training between the grain cart and truck so they will be capable of performing the many different duties of harvest. My mom (Loretta) and I will be helping out periodically throughout the summer.
Roland Harvesting will be operating a CR 9060, CR 9070, and CR 9080 New Holland combines with 36 foot draper headers. We will bring three semis and grain trailers to haul grain. In addition, the tractor and 1,000 bushel grain cart will be brought on the road to help with harvest. Our TR ’98 combine will hopefully stay at the farm this summer to help out with home harvest.
To briefly recap our history, Roland Harvesting is owned and operated by my parents, Alan and Loretta Roland. My dad has been harvesting since 1978, making this his 35th year of harvest. We run a family based operation that my older sister, Ashley (age 26), myself (23), and Brandon (20), were raised in and continue to help out with. We grew up on a farm near Hemingford, Nebraska, where our parents still reside, farm, and operate Roland Harvesting.
This will be my third year with All Aboard Wheat Harvest and I’m very excited to be coming back for another summer. Roland Harvesting looks forward to sharing our new adventures with you all!
I convinced the Laramie crew to take a break from studying for finals so I could get a quick picture of part of the crew. They are sporting our school colors, which are usually referred to as “game-day gold” but I like to think of it as New Holland yellow instead! From left to right: Kasey, Jose, Brandon, Sam, and Eric. Here’s a quick background about these young men…
Kasey is from Hotchkiss, Colorado and is currently studying Livestock Production. Jose is a close family friend from Hemingford, Nebraska and is majoring in Agricultural Business. Brandon is obviously from Hemingford as well and is pursuing a degree in Agricultural Communications. Sam is from Greeley, Colorado and is working on his General Studies as he decides on a degree. Lastly, Eric calls Big Lake, Minnesota home and is currently majoring in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management.