All Aboard Harvest | Laura: Just call me Laura Knievel
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Laura: Just call me Laura Knievel

Northwest Kansas: I’ve been working from home and have been back and forth a couple times while the crew has been in western Kansas. On July 16, I was already in route to deliver meals when I got a call that one of our crew members had an appointment in town and I may need to help with the grain cart. Now let’s be honest, I like being in the field a lot, and it rarely happens that I get to run something at this stage of life. I should have been pumped. However, when the yields are so strong and the guys are the in the groove with each other, its hard to come in as an outsider and immediately maintain the mojo they were experiencing.

I got there, had a tutorial, and went for it. I did the best I could under the circumstances. One thing I had been warned about was the wash out in the field. But it wasn’t just any wash out. It was a sneaky, innocent looking, hard-to-spot one I was told, and even more so with the grain as good as it was. Things were going as well as possible until I spotted it, but a little too late. I was going fast, I tried to shut it down, but I’m pretty sure I launched the unit Evel Knievel style, and all the wheels had airtime. Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration about the airtime, though Little Man witnessed his mom lose her cool for a minute and was pretty impressed by crazy the experience. I, on the other hand, was not impressed and was sure I had probably broken something which would have been grounds for some major not fun-ness—yes, that’s a word—when everything was needed in the mile long field. Luckily everything was fine, it sounded and felt worse than it was, and my couple rounds of glory didn’t go down in flames. And let’s be honest, it’s something that every grain cart driver has experienced at some point in their career.

Maybe next time I’ll get a little more cab time to really get in the groove, but it was fun to join in the action if even for while.

Video of both combines unloading at once.

Running strong!

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

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 21:37h, 29 July

    Good for you Laura ,MINT !! Have been in the Turf Care side of Golf Course’s for over 25yrs. Women are always the best operators with equipment !! Here’s a good one when we were farming ,Mom was running the combine a new to her TR85 was used to Massey 510 ,She said when I got into the cab to shut the unloading auger lever off OH ,that’s why the hopper wasn’t filling up!! Mom turned 92 on the 16th still checked out !!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 15:21h, 31 July

      Great story, Tom! Thanks for sharing.