25 May Meet All Aboard’s newest correspondent – Christy Paplow
Harvest hasn’t always been a part of my life. My name is Christy Paplow and I grew up right outside of Atlanta, Georgia. In 2006, I made a far-away move to Lake Park, Iowa. It was there in Lake Park that I met my husband, Paul, in 2008. I knew nothing about custom harvesting and after visiting him on the 2009 wheat run; I was introduced to a whole new world. It was remarkable to me how hard his family worked. All the places they traveled to, and all the people they knew—many times feeling like at each stop, it was their hometown. I remember thinking to myself on the long trips home: I simply don’t want to go home.
Gary, Paul’s father, started Paplow Harvesting & Trucking in 1991 with the help of a couple local farmers. Today Gary and Paul run nine late model Case IH 8250 combines, five Case IH tractors pulling grain carts, and 15 Peterbilt semis with Wilson hopper bottoms. We work hard to incorporate all of the new and state of the art technology into our operation. Our crew fluctuates between about 18 and 22 members. A typical season these days starts in Wichita Falls, Texas, and moves through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. We harvest everything from winter and spring wheat, canola, milo, durum, mustard, lentils, and field peas during the summer, to soybeans and corn in the fall.
I joined the Paplow Harvesting & Trucking crew in 2010 helping Paul’s mother, Rhonada, cook crew meals, wash laundry, clean campers, run for parts, and occasionally run grain cart when needed. As the years progressed, my responsibilities have grown. There are so many facets to our operation that require constant attention and sometimes the guys just don’t have the time. That’s where they count on Rhonada and I to fill in the gaps.
Paul and I share a 6-year-old daughter, Zoey. She comes along each year on the harvest, and hasn’t known any other way of life. She loves harvest. So much so, that as soon we pull the camper out of the shed, it’s become a tradition to spend a couple nights in there—even though we’re still home.
One of the most compelling parts of harvest, in my opinion, is watching some of the young men grow up on harvest. It’s a really incredible thing to watch these boys mature over the summer. What’s even better is the friendships that continue on after sharing a season of bunking in campers, working some impressive hours, and all those other things in their off time that they think we don’t know about.
Writing for All Aboard Wheat Harvest is an opportunity I am really excited to take on. I feel I have a lot to share about life on the road after more than 10 years navigating the (sometimes) treacherous world of combining for hire. I hope you’ll enjoy following our crew as we hopefully have a safe and prosperous season on the 2021 wheat run.
Christy can be reached at email@example.com.
All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by Case IH, Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc., BASF, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Gleaner, ITC, Westbred, Huskie, Western Equipment, US Custom Harvesters, and High Plains Journal.