All Aboard Harvest | Laura Haffner – High Plains Harvesting
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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.

The wheat isn’t quite ready for us in northern Texas, so I’ll take a moment to catch you up on what has transpired since I said goodbye from Montana last summer.  

Upon returning to Kansas, we jumped into fall harvest.

Montana—On Sunday, Aug. 14, I was typing the beginning of this article from the back of the pickup on the way to the field, on what should be our final hours in southern Montana. Yesterday, half of the machines in Montana made the pilgrimage to our final stop of the season northwest of Great Falls. The remaining team members will join them tomorrow, God willing.

Hard to get tired of this backdrop.

The crew has spent nearly three and a half weeks harvesting a variety of crops east of Billings. The finals days were spent in canola and chickpeas, two crops whose

Southern Montana—After the hailstorm debacle listed in the previous post, the weather turned off very hot and dry here east of Billings. With temperatures in the upper 90s and 100s, the crew was able to cut for nearly 10 solid days, and take care of most assigned wheat acres, before the next system moved through.

With good yields up north, it has taken all hands on deck to tackle this job. We even had a former teammate take vacation from his own operation to come help for a few days. It is always good to see former crew members, but even

Montana: I am so incredibly thankful that High Plains Journal has afforded me this platform to share High Plains Harvesting's version of the story of harvest. Showing the world agriculture through words, photographs and videos is one my of absolute favorite things. However, you and I know that there are so many other people too that have, are, or will make amazing contributions to this important industry.

There are so many amazing individuals and teams, at all levels and positions within the the harvest industry. In the past, I have shared some stories about other crews or harvest support professionals in

Montana—As the kids have grown, Ryan and I are continually trying to achieve a work-life balance for them and that looks different each season. There are so many amazing lessons to be learned on the road, but there are also valuable experiences to be had at home too. The challenge with parenting is that you never know if you're doing it right or not, but we, like so many of you reading this, are just trying to do the best we can for them.
We're fortunate that centrally located Kansas is our home base. This enables us a little bit of