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Laura: Farewell wheat harvest, hello fall harvest

Northwest Kansas—The summer wheat run is complete. There’s always a feeling of relief when the last team member pulls in the yard with the final piece of equipment from the summer run. The crew immediately switched out and converted equipment for the fall season. Corn harvest has been underway for several weeks now.

What a run it was. This year was marked with many twists and turns and unexpected challenges caused by weather. I would rehash all those adventures, but I thought I would do a little something different this year.

I’ve said before that one of the best things about harvest is the people you meet. Lady A and Little Man are old enough to really start understanding that concept. Last year, they met some similarly aged kiddos who enjoy science, outdoor adventure, and far away playgrounds as much as they do. So, we teamed up for this final post to see what they enjoy most about life on the road as mini-harvesters. Below are the answers from Micah and Tim Froese, of Froese Harvesting, and Little Man and Lady A, of High Plains Harvesting. It should be noted that the Froese boys also have a preschool aged brother who was too busy doing fun things, otherwise we would have his answers too. Maybe we will be lucky enough to hear them in a few years.

What is your favorite harvest meal that your mom makes?
Micah: Chicken burgers and watermelon
Tim: Lasagna
Lady A: Those one noodles that are like straws.
Little Man: All of them! Pretty much every one is delicious. (I didn’t pay him to say that!  Thanks, buddy!)

What is your favorite piece of harvest equipment?
Micah: Case Magnum
Tim: Red Case Combine
Lady A: The round and round headers (draper headers).
Little Man: Our John Deere S770 combine with our MacDon headers. They handle rocks well.

What is your favorite memory with your harvest friends in this article?
Micah: Walking around at the USCHI convention with them and getting things.
Tim: Swimming at the pool in Des Moines celebrating my birthday.
Lady A: Finding out we found them in the park (Lady A referencing our first meeting). Climbing on the roof house. And the harvest convention.
Little Man: When we first met each other when we climbed up on that mini roof. We also played dirt bomb fights. (Spraying each other with dirt—what’s not to love?).

What is your favorite adventure you’ve had this season?
Micah: Going to all the pools in Texas.
Tim: Driving the combine.
Lady A: Glacier and the mother bear crossing the road.
Little Man: Glacier National Park. The Highline Trail with mom when we got to see the big horn sheep.

What makes a certain swimming pool your favorite?
Micah: A lazy river. The Vernon, Texas, pool is my favorite.
Tim: I like them all because they cool me down.
Lady A: “Danger slide” in northeast Colorado (a tall blue twisting slide).
Little Man: I was so excited to do the orange one in Oklahoma a few years ago. The lifeguard gave me an extra spin and it made me want to throw up. The next time they didn’t spin me and it was OK.

What is the best thing about living in a camper house?
Micah: Having the air conditioning vent by my head while sleeping.
Tim: It makes home-home seem and smell brand new when we go back.
Lady A: Getting paper our of the printer to draw with.
Little Man: Living in camper house makes me thankful for my house.

Have you ever seen a cool storm?
Micah: Yes. The ones in Dighton are colossal.
Tim: Yes, lightening is cool.
Lady A: Yes, that bad hail storm in Texas when we were in the camper.
Little Man: That super cell that look like it was spiraling (non-tornadic) in western Kansas. Dad ran us to the car and Mom got a cool picture.

What is your favorite thing to do with your dad on harvest?
Miach: Drive the pickup.
Tim: Getting to ride in the combine.
Lady A: Playing at the park at danger slide place (northeast Colorado). Riding in the back of the pick up (Don’t be alarmed—slow on remote field roads.)
Little: Drive the pick up. (Again, field roads.)

What is your favorite thing to do with your mom on harvest?
Micah: Making supper.
Tim: ?
Lady A: Go swimming.
Little Man: Go places that I’ve never gone before. Find cool stuff, do cool stuff, see new animals.

What is your favorite harvest story?
Micah: When papa put a fire out with the blade of a Stieger in an earlage field.
Tim: The combine got stuck and then the tractor got stuck trying to pull out the combine.
Lady A: My favorite thing was watching Bugs Bunny with Cy outside on the pickup.
Little Man: This summer, that day we got to play of the giant dirt piles in Montana in the field. We were sliding down them. It was really really fun.

What do you think everyone should know about harvest?
Micah: It’s fun.
Tim: It’s fun.
Lady A: Ummmmmmm, it’s kinda fun but kind of scary because I don’t like storms.
Little Man: It’s fun but you can’t mess around with it. You have to be safe too.

They’re on the loose. Haffner and Froese kids are checking out the great booths at the 2021 US Custom Harvester Convention in Des Moines.  

When you’re a harvest kid, you can find fun anywhere. It’s way more fun to play in the soil than take a picture for mom.

It is always a treat when there’s time to get together with other harvest families on the harvest trail. High Plains Harvesting, Froese Harvesting, and Johnson Harvesting enjoyed a petting zoo at the start of this season in northern Texas.  

Well, folks, that’s a wrap for the 2021 Wheat Harvest season. It has been a pleasure getting to share with you again this summer. Thanks for all the kind words and feedback you have provided. It is a privilege to write for the High Plains Journal about our sector of agriculture and that would not be possible without the sponsors of the program. Thank you for supporting and believing in this project.

While wheat may be complete, the run continues into fall with corn, soybeans, grain sorghum and occasionally other summer crops. If you want to continue to follow along with the adventure, we can be found on Facebook and Instagram at High Plains Harvesting or Under the Flyover Sky.

Until next time, I wish you all the best and God bless.

Laura Haffner can be reached at laura@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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