Sponsored by:

Laura: “Off” season

Texas — Wednesday, May 15 goes down in the High Plains Harvesting (HPH) record book as the beginning of the 2024 season. However, the start of harvest has been marked with storms and humidity. The start/stop process can be frustrating, and great care is needed to avoid being stuck. There will be plenty of big days of cutting ahead, but fighting the elements can be frustrating. Preliminary yields have been coming in around 35-40 bushels per acre. 

Ryan sent in the combine posing after one of the first test cuts of the season.
View from Ryan’s cab one of the first days of harvest.

This season is a little bittersweet for our family as it is the first time that we will be without one of our biggest supporters. Time isn’t always kind to the body or mind, and Ryan’s mother unexpectedly passed away last fall. With our faith we believe she’s in a better place, but that doesn’t mean we don’t miss her terribly. She always treated me with such kindness. I was absolutely blessed with one of the best mothers-in-law around.  

Sweet memories of Ryan’s mom are so special to us, especially now.

There were moments for joy too, in the “off-season”! Lady A and Little Man, who aren’t so little anymore, have been engaging in a wide array of activities, like sports, music, church and 4-H. it’s fun seeing their passions unfold. 

We also had the pleasure of attending weddings of past and current HPH team members. It’s wonderful to see them so happy and also observe other team members in attendance that they formed relationships with while on harvest. Congrats to Garret and Karlie as well as Ryan and Katie!  

Congrats, Garret and Karlie!
Congrats, Ryan and Katie! Also pictured are alum and current HPH team members and their wives.
We had fun catching up with HPH alum Campbell and Cy.

There is nothing really “off” about the “off-season,” though. Even before harvest is complete, planning begins for the next season. In addition to that, Ryan has also been working with our trailer business Horizon Equipment, and he enjoys placing the right equipment in the hands of producers. A highlight of winter responsibilities was catching up with an HPH alum while on a recruiting trip.  

Ryan with 2018 High Plains Harvesting alum Matt and Adam.

The US Custom Harvesters annual meeting was in Oklahoma City this winter. This is a great way to connect with others in the harvesting world as well as important industry updates. This year, the addition of a child and adult pedal pull contest provided some amazing fun and comic relief. The littlest harvesters also enjoyed the annual safety event and educational opportunities in OKC.

The tractor pull was fun for harvesters of all ages.

I’m not sure I ever completely unpacked my toiletries bag since harvest wrapped up last fall. Adjunct teaching for college agriculture classes, Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) Board of Directors and Women’s Leadership Committee (WLC) rounded out my work calendar, as did a couple of advocacy trips to Washington, DC this spring. A HarvestHer retreat in Omaha filled my cup, as did the first ever “Rooted in Resilience” retreat that our KFB WLC committee hosted. Another travel highlight included a capstone trip to Chile to learn about sustainable agriculture with my American Farm Bureau Partners in Advocacy Leadership (PAL) classmates, with whom I graduated this past March. Advocating for agriculture is a passion of mine as it is an important component of allowing us to continue our farming and harvesting way of life. I’m thankful for the avenues that allow me to do just that and the relationships I’ve made along the way.

My PAL group at the Chilean government agriculture department.
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.