All Aboard Harvest | Lindsey: Back to reality!
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Lindsey: Back to reality!

Cheyenne, OK – We wrapped up our wheat harvest season on September 11 in Cut Bank, Montana.  The timing of harvest almost always differs from year to year, but I think this was the longest season we have ever had. It’s been full of highs and lows, ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly…which is just the nature of the beast. I hear often that the harvest trail isn’t for the faint of heart, and I couldn’t agree more. In spite of it all, we’re truly thankful for every acre we’ve run across this summer!

Hardin, MT

When we finished up in Nebraska in early August, the crew headed on to Hardin, Montana while the kids and I headed home.  Mason started Pre-K this year!  This was a new scenario for us, as we’ve never had to split up our family during harvest.  There are many alternatives to going home for school, but none that we felt were a good fit for us.  We’ve always had it in mind to come home when it was time for school, and that’s what we did. Mason is loving everything about school, but naturally recess seems to be his favorite subject so far.

1st day of Pre-K

Our crew spent 30 days in Hardin.  Aside from a few rainy days they were able to make a hard run while they were there.  The wheat yield averaged around 80 bu/ac.  We had a new opportunity this year in Cut Bank, so when the work was done in Hardin our guys ventured further north to the “Coldest Spot in the Nation!”  They harvested winter and spring wheat and saw an average yield of 60 bu/ac.  When it was time to load up and head home, there was a 1,500 mile journey back to Oklahoma.  It’s easy to forget just how far you are from home as you ease your way North during the summer!

Hardin, MT

Hardin, MT

Hardin, MT

Cut Bank, MT

Cut Bank, MT

I wouldn’t call wheat harvest a vacation by any stretch, but as farmers and ranchers the return home greets us with an endless to-do list:  work ground, plant wheat, strip cotton, gear-up for fall harvest, sort and work calves, etc. It’s a quick trip back to reality!

Daddy's Home!

Cotton at home

Cows at home

I’d like to thank Jon and Josh for all of their help and hard work this summer!  This business requires us to put a lot of trust and confidence in our workers, and they’ve both gone above and beyond for us.  Jason’s folks, Jim and Sherri, certainly make being away from home for so long doable.  We couldn’t do this without them! Custom harvesting is a team effort and I think we’ve got some of the best players out there.

Legacy of the Plains - Gering, NE

Legacy of the Plains - Gering, NE

It’s been a pleasure to share our journey with you, the readers, this summer. I think we have a great collection of correspondents that give you a glimpse into a good variety of harvest operations and it’s an honor to be a part of it. Happy trails to you!

Hardin, MT

Hardin, MT

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

  • Melvin Mertz
    Posted at 18:09h, 03 October

    Cut Bank, MT brings back memories. My first year of harvesting way 1966 just out of my Junior year of high school with Milton Hayes of Carrier, Oklahoma. Started in Munday, Texas and finished in Cut Bank, MT. I grew up in the Loma / Big Sandy area of Montana, and Milton cut wheat for my dad. Made my 2nd year the next year, then the Army got me for 2 years, After returning home from the Army in 1970, I worked for Hitchcock and Campbell Harvesting, Tahlequah, OK from 1971 through 1985. We finished the wheat harvest in Cut Bank, Montana every year along the Meriwether road west of Cut Bank from US Highway 2 all the way to the Canadian Border. I had to quit because of sleep apnea and not being able to stay awake for the hours needed. I do miss the run and cannot believe it has been over 30 years since I quit. Thank you for keeping everyone posted on the modern harvest every year. Quite a change in combines since the 750 Massey Ferguson’s we ran. Thank you,.

    • lindseyo
      Posted at 09:21h, 05 October

      You’ve had quite the harvest run…with some fellow Okies, too!
      Thanks for sharing!

  • Dan McGrew
    Posted at 09:30h, 04 October

    Are the “Mint Cafes-Bars-Saloons-Card Rooms” still common across the Montana High Line?
    Back in ancient history — 1949-57– there was a narrow, block deep “Mint” in virtually every town.
    Shelby or Cut Bank had a larger Mint — with a full-blown gambling hall in back, with all the tables, wheels and tables.
    Sign at the casino entrance said something to the effect “Word reached here about January 1938 that the state legislature boys in a moment of insanity voted to ban gambling in Montana. However, official word has not reached here to date. Therefore, deal and continue as always.”
    Just wondering — Haven”t been up to the High Line since ’89.
    Of course, I date back to the days when grain was augured directly onto the three-ton trucks from pull Gleaners.
    Even engineered the threshing machine from 1944 through 47.

    • lindseyo
      Posted at 09:19h, 05 October

      Yes, there are casinos as far as the eye can see!
      It seems the focus is on slot machines, but there are some card tables here and there.

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 19:13h, 04 October

    Glad you had a good 2018 wheat harvest , Mason & Ivy are tooo cute !! Super pictures, Where are the kids with the giant wheat stem?

    • lindseyo
      Posted at 09:16h, 05 October

      Thanks so much! It’s wild how much they have grown and changed since the start of wheat harvest!
      Those pictures were taken at the Legacy of the Plains museum in Gering, NE. If you find yourself in that area, it’s definitely worth checking out!

  • Norm Rotruck
    Posted at 07:50h, 12 October

    Thanks for your blog, Linsey! Hope to see you in 2019!