Laura Haffner – High Plains Harvesting

Laura Haffner - High Plains Harvesting

Laura Haffner always loved agriculture and rural living, but never dreamed she would be living out that passion through traveling the backroads of the the Great Plains with a harvest crew.  But, here she is!


She and her husband, Ryan, own and operate High Plains Harvesting based in Park, Kansas. The couple, along with their children and team, travel from Texas to the Canadian border to harvest wheat, canola and other small grains. They return to Kansas at the end of summer to harvest corn, soybeans, grain sorghum and the occasional sunflower and pinto beans.


Ryan’s harvesting experience started as a young child with his family. He was hooked and continued harvesting summers throughout his teens and early twenties with a local crew. He later took over a business, which has become High Plains Harvesting. This season will mark their eleventh as owners.


This is Laura’s eighth year writing for All Aboard Wheat Harvest.


“Harvesting is a good but challenging way of life,” Laura said.  “It has afforded me the opportunity to meet some amazing people and visit incredible places. The tough times have grown my faith in ways I never thought possible.  With the current drought, it looks like the latter will once again be put to the test.”


The Haffner’s children have an expanded worldview as the result of their travels and meeting people from all over the US and the world.  Their children, who affectionately go by Little Man and Lady A in the blog, are ready to hit the road for another season.  Lady A says she likes, “driving the equipment and helping in the kitchen.”  Little Man is excited to “see new places and do new things!”  In the children’s eyes, harvest is a grand adventure and the Haffners work hard to take advantage of many lessons that are available along the trail to help teach their children about life.

Ryan and Laura appreciate the chance to share their journey with you and Laura looks forward to interacting with the readership throughout the season.

Montana—Little Man tore open the envelope with excitement and curiosity, wondering who from Texas would be sending him a letter in the mail. As he read the words printed on a lined piece of notebook paper, he was soon smiling from ear to ear. It was from a boy he had met in north Texas, at our first stop, and they attended the same church and basketball camp together. They had even had a fun play date.

I reminded him that the Lord provides what we need at just the right time. That very morning, the children had been

Montana—It was unusual to see how much crop was still in the fields in Nebraska, Colorado and beyond as we traveled to north. The late maturity and rains didn’t continue into Montana this season. In fact, prolonged high temperatures sped things up. As a result we needed to hit the ground running upon arrival. This all occurred while part of the crew finished Colorado and joined us a few days later.

Since Little Man and I have been on the road together, this is the first year I haven’t stayed at least one night in Colorado. It was a

The crew just finished up in southeast Colorado where a combination of hail and drought stressed the crop and yields reflected that accordingly. The crew fought several days of wet ground and high moisture in the grain, but once they were able to move they ran hard with their stripper headers.  

We currently have three crews deployed across western Kansas and southeastern Colorado and they have been parked for days due to wet conditions. The storms keep coming and while we were trying so hard to be thankful for this desperately needed moisture, the harvest clock is also ticking loudly in our heads.