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Laura: Here’s to the behind the scenes teams

Northwest Kansas—I see a lot of memes that float around on social media that say something to the affect, “If you ate today, thank a farmer.”

Now, we are a farm family in addition to being harvesters, and that is certainly a nice sentiment, but …

There are so many people that work hard behind the scenes to keep the farmers or harvesters going. Case in point, the nice people who were working the Sunday morning shift—not all pictured—at the local John Deere Dealership. Now, if I had to guess, they likely had other things on their wishful weekend list like sleeping in, church, family or friend time, a trip to the lake, etc. But, here they are, waiting to assist sassy people, like myself, who may or may not be in the best of moods upon entering.

The great staff at Carrico Implement, myself, and Lady A with a photobomb. This was after my first trip through the door. (Photo by Laura Haffner.)

In fact, just when they thought they had gotten rid of me, I came back through the door because of the text that said, “Hey, did you remember to check if the other parts came in?” I’m pretty sure we had only very briefly touched on this subject once either in the middle of the night or some highly distracted time. Thank goodness for texting and that I wasn’t down the road when this new revelation and reminder came to pass. No, I hadn’t checked to see if the mystery parts were in, but I had just picked up two different types of hydraulic fluid and shear bolts for the stripper headers.

Upon reentering, two more patrons had joined the party and there was discussion about my abrupt return. This led to chatter amongst the growing group about how many trips for parts one can make in a day, where one usually is when they have to turn around for more parts, marital “discussions” about parts runs, family dynamics, etc. It was all in good fun and gave us a quick chuckle, because, if you know you know. And we all knew. There is power in knowing you aren’t alone and a shared camaraderie of “getting it.”

The thing is, this gig isn’t easy. There are a lot of moving parts in agriculture at all levels of the chains with time sensitive pressures. While there are many beautiful things about this business, seasons are long, stress creeps up, tempers sometimes escape, communication can wane, months turn to years, and people get sleep deprived. This combination can create a challenging environment at times. No one is immune. The key is to not stay in that place and be able to move on from the rough days.

So, let’s cut each other some slack, laugh a little more, including at ourselves, talk it out or find another healthy escape when things get too heavy, and all say a prayer of thanksgiving that the parts folks continue to come in and put up with us on the weekends and during the busy seasons to make our lives just a little easier.

The pictures above are the things I had to come back for.  

I promise the back started out organized two days ago. Then the unpack, repack, pick up, drop off took over. This time of year there are almost always clothes, parts, coolers, water, toys, sports equipment, etc. in the back because I never know what I’ll be doing or where I’ll land. 

Laura Haffner can be reached at laura@allaboardharvest.com.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is brought to you by ITC Holdings, CASE IH, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, US Custom Harvesters Inc., Unverferth Mfg. Co. Inc., Lumivia CPL by Corteva Agriscience, Kramer Seed Farms, and High Plains Journal.

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