All Aboard Harvest | Laura: Our afternoon with young men of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children
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Laura: Our afternoon with young men of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

West central Oklahoma – As you’ve read the All Aboard Wheat Harvest blog, you have likely noticed the listing of some of our contributing sponsors in the side bar of the site page. One new to the line-up is this one:


10-Acre Challenge

“What is this challenge and who are they?” you may ask. Well, I had to enlighten myself as well, so let me share with you what I discovered. The 10-Acre Challenge is a call for those in agriculture to donate ten acres of their crop to the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children and challenge their friends to do the same.

“Wait Laura, back up. Who is the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children organization?” you’re now thinking. I’m so glad you asked! Since I’m not an Oklahoma native, I had to do some more homework! Their website states they have been “providing hope to children and their families since 1903,” and their mission is “to demonstrate God’s love by providing hope through empowering children and their families to follow Christ.” This non-profit organization provides a home for those who are currently unable to live at their family home for a whole host of different reasons. Enrichment and education are provided both on and off of their campuses. Children live in cottages with up to eight other young people and their host parents in a traditional-style family setting. They also offer support through transitional housing for young adults who graduate from their program and are entering post secondary education and/or careers. They provide maternity services as well as support to single mothers and their children. Check out the link above to learn more details, as I could spend several posts writing on all their services!

On Sunday we had the privilege of welcoming three young men from the Boys Ranch Town in Edmond to High Plains Harvesting. Mike, organizer of the 10-Acre Challenge, and I have been trying to coordinate a visit since my drive down to Texas; and until last week, he heard a lot of, “It rained today. Try back in a few days,” or “We’re switching fields a lot and its going fast. It will probably be tough to coordinate.” Then, “Sorry, Michael, more rain in the forecast, I think next week may be right!” As one might expect when trying to coordinate with a harvester, it was probably like herding cats for the poor man! Finally late last week, we decided Sunday would be the day to shoot for. Everything aligned, and we were able to make it happen.

Initially, I was concerned since we weren’t able to cut that day. I was afraid the boys would be disappointed. As it turned out, it was a blessing in disguise. The boys were able to have the undivided attention of the crew and ended up learning and experiencing more this way than they would have by just taking a ride a few times around the field.

This may embarrass my crew to no end, as they’re a humble bunch, but I must say how impressed and proud I was with their teaching skills. They had very little notice once we determined Sunday would work, and they completely stepped up and gave the young men a thorough tour of the trucks and machines. Their enthusiasm for and knowledge of their work was evident, and the boys felt comfortable enough to ask a million questions (really-great ones too!), which was fun. After watching them interact, I think some of the crew could and should become educators in the off-season!

We made sure to take plenty of pictures of the boys’ time with us. One neat thing Mike told us is they make sure the children work on their scrapbooks once a month. It is important to the organization that the children have a physical history of their childhood through photo memories.

So back to the organization and challenge… They are a non-profit and are dependent on churches and individuals. If you feel called to give to the 10-acre challenge, the link to their site is here. Even if you’re not in a position to commit 10-acres at this time, donations of any size are welcome, as are gifts of time and talent. You need not be Baptist to participate.

As I said above, it was a privilege to meet and work with the three young men from the Boys Ranch Town and Mike last Sunday. We hope they enjoyed the experience as much as we did and learned a little something too! Below are some pictures of our time together. 


After introductions, the afternoon began with a lesson on the fuel trailer.


Taking it all in.


Discussing hoppers on the trailer.


Tarp rolling demonstration.



Your turn!

HPH 2017

First up and finding his rhythm.


Getting a little coaching.


I believe he had the hang of it!



Looks like he’s loving it!


He’s a natural up there!



The boys had the option of taking their picture in the truck, next to the truck, or both. All three chose both!


Learning where the fuel goes. I think they were impressed with how quickly a machine can be filled!


Next up, a lesson in daily maintenance and filter care.


They had questions about the grain cart.



A tutorial on stripper headers.


FINALLY time for some green machines! I think that’s the look of excitement! He was minutes away from taking the wheel himself!



The men minus their sponsor Mike.


Mike got in this one!


All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Laura can be reached at

  • Chuck C
    Posted at 08:05h, 09 June

    I’m sure these boys have had some serious challenges in their lives. Thanks for taking the time to bring them to the field, give them a hint of the excitement of harvesting, show them respect, answer questions and just give them a great day. They’ll never forget it, and neither will you and the crew. We wish the best for these boys and their future. Thanks to you and the crew for caring enough for others to do this! May God bless your efforts this season, keep all of you safe, -and good harvesting!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 15:18h, 09 June

      We are so glad it worked out to have special visitors at the field with us. It was just as much a treat for us as it was for them.

      Thanks for the well wishes, Chuck.

  • April
    Posted at 08:31h, 09 June

    Thanks for giving our boys this opportunity and for you support! – An employee of OBHC

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 15:20h, 09 June

      You are so welcome. Thank you all for allowing us to have the opportunity! 🙂

  • Mary
    Posted at 08:42h, 09 June

    Enjoyed reading the story and seeing the pictures. Great day of learning new experiences. Love the idea of the 10 acre challenge. What a way to share your blessings with others.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 15:22h, 09 June

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Mary! It was fun to see their smiles!

  • Michael Williams
    Posted at 10:10h, 09 June

    Laura and Crew- What an awesome experience for the boys. Each of them had a great time. Thank you so much for all you do!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 15:15h, 09 June

      I’m so glad to hear they enjoyed themselves, Michael! It is something our crew won’t soon forget! We appreciate your patience in regards to the scheduling!

      Thanks also for the cold drinks on a hot, humid day! 🙂 They were appreciated!

  • churham
    Posted at 20:24h, 09 June

    Those young men will never forget their day with u’ll.
    Thanks to u’ll for showing them so many different things about harvesting wheat.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 16:25h, 14 June

      It was such a good day! 🙂

  • Andre S
    Posted at 14:04h, 10 June

    Hi we’re the boys Andre, Connor and Bradley thank you for letting us come and learn on how to harvest. Your group of men were great they taught me things I did not know. Like how careful we have to be and how important it is for the world to have farmers. Thanks for the great time.
    This is Bradley and I really enjoyed the trip there. It was really fun and cool. What i liked the most was driving the combine. I liked the automatic self driving in it. Thanks a lot and God bless you all.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 16:24h, 14 June

      Hi, Andre, Bradley, and Connor! You are so welcome and it was such a privilege to have you visit! We are so glad you enjoyed yourselves and learned a little too. It was a day we won’t forget! Best wishes to you three. God bless!