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Christy: The end is near

The sun has set on our Montana wheat harvest. We cut our last field out here on Sunday just in time for Fort Benton to get a rain that dumped more moisture than I think I’ve ever seen out here. It’s delayed getting things loaded, but that’s okay. We are all due a good break. The folks around here are pretty happy to see some wet weather, too.

Although we didn’t see quite as many acres or quite as good a crop as we normally do, it was still a well-rounded stop. We will be thinking about our farmers throughout the rest of this year into next that they see better conditions for a better crop next year.

Moving forward it looks like we will be combining around Fortuna and Ray, North Dakota. Gary and Rhonada already brought a crew to Ray and cut field peas. After a short break, they have begun cutting wheat. More to come on how it looks out there as soon as we make our way to join them.

Before leaving, we visited the Montana State Fair in Great Falls. It was fun to spend the day with some of our harvester friends watching the kids ride rides and visit exhibits. Zoey caught both Paul and I off guard deciding she wanted to hold a snake. She felt right at home with the little critter and was hesitant to give it back. No, we won’t be getting one as a pet anytime soon. I’ll draw that line on that right now.

Something also pretty neat I have to share at the end of our Montana run is that we had the opportunity to visit Welker Farms, Inc. in Shelby, Montana. JC Schemper and his family gave us lift out to Shelby to check it out.

If you’ve ever caught any videos on the Welker Farms’ YouTube channel, you’ll know these guys know farming. We caught up with Scott Welker, also known as “Leg Arms.” He was willing to give us a little bit of his time, and shared a lot about who they are and how they got started.

Big Bud tractors are their work horses. They have a long history with these tractors. Scott was kind enough to start one up, so the kids could hear just how unique these tractors sound. Their oldest Big Bud still runs on their farm to this day.

Zoey and Sage befriended one of Welker’s farm cats, Taz. I think Taz will need a vacation after all the love and attention he received.

Conversations didn’t run dry. Scott is an incredibly humble and open person to discuss everything from their start in farming with Big Buds, to sharing stories of farm injuries. He gave us a lot of insight into farming in Montana. Conditions in their parts are not easily managed, and they work really hard to continue the legacy their grandfather started in 1912.

We are venturing into our last leg on our wheat harvest journey. It feels like it’s flown by. Even through all the rain delays, upsets, breakdowns, and everything in between, it’s been a year I’ll remember.

Christy Paplow can be reached at christy@allaboardharvest.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. 


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