14 Jun Brian: Let’s get this show on the road!
Greenfield, Iowa—The magic moment has arrived. It’s the day we have been anticipating for months … the day where all the madness of preparation is over, and the wheels start to turn as our rigs pull out of our driveway and head towards Oklahoma.
The journey begins. We say our farewells to our farm, friends, and family and head head south for the wheat fields of Oklahoma. It’s always a bittersweet moment.
The rainy weather mentioned in my previous blog has not improved much. This has led to a lot of delays for nearly every agricultural activity throughout the Midwest, including the start of the wheat harvest due to slow ripening of the grain. This has worked to our benefit, as our normal 10 days of planting corn and soybeans in Iowa has taken 47 days to complete (the rain only allowed 5 days of fieldwork the entire month of May). I am happy to inform you that we did get all of our crops planted, but only 4 days before leaving for Oklahoma on June 13. It’s hard to prepare to leave for 3 months when you spend every waking minute trying to finish planting in very muddy conditions. Somehow we survived the stress of it all, but it seemed overwhelming at times.
With limited time to pack for the summer, a lot of last-minute preparations made for a flurry of activity around the farm. I found myself the morning of our departure date still packing clothes, scrubbing toilets, emptying out and unplugging the refrigerator, folding the final load of laundry and cleaning the coffee pot. It’s amazing how many little tasks go on to shut down a house for 3 months. I didn’t even get my clothes put in drawers or my toiletries on the shelf…boxes were simply set on the floor of the house trailer as I made one final walk through the shop to see if I could think of any tools or tasks forgotten.
Our family tradition of a prayer circle before we departed included my sister Susan via video chat from her home in North Pole, Alaska. Faith and family are the cornerstone of our operation, and we ask God for a safe and successful harvest season. It’s an emotional moment to leave behind your farm, friends and family for such a long period of time, but a compromise necessary for the life of a wheat harvester. With a few tears, some hugs and some nervous glances we crawl into our respective rigs and turn the steering wheel towards the south.
A family that farms together (and prays together) stays together. Technology allows us to keep in touch with family and friends while away from home. Here we video chat with my sister Susan in Alaska as we say a family prayer before our departure.
Be sure to click and watch the video below for a live update from the side of the road during a refueling stop as we travel to Oklahoma. Then … check back soon as I bring you harvesting footage from our first wheat field of the year. Let’s get this show on the road!
All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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