Megan: Another Season in the Books

Although AAWH is wrapping up for another year, the harvest season for the Roland’s is far from over. The crew is currently stuck in North Dakota trying to finish up our final wheat stop. Intermittent rain showers have made this an uphill battle and it looks like the end is still a long ways off. Brandon, Jose, and Eric will leave tomorrow to return to Laramie, Wyo. On Sept. 3rd they will start their senior year of college at the University of Wyoming. All three are majoring in different areas of agriculture, making harvest an important cornerstone for their future. Mom, Dad, and Jake will knock out the rest of our work in North Dakota, then return home to begin planting winter wheat. Fall crops, including sunflowers, millet, and corn, will be ready shortly thereafter. Fall harvest around home can often drag on until November or December, and by then Mom and Dad will be ready for a nice, long break!

This weekend Ashley, Kurt, and I were able to reunite with the family in North Dakota. We had a successful day of cutting with the 3 of us kids operating the 3 combines. Even though Ashley and I are no longer on the road full-time, we are able to hop into the combines, tractors, or trucks and pick up where we left off. Having the opportunity to work side by side with my parents, brother, and sister is an extremely rewarding experience. The radio chatter made the day fly by and it felt like old times again.

An enormous thank you to High Plains Journal and New Holland for their wonderful sponsorship of AAWH 2014! In addition, we would like to offer a special thank you to New Holland’s Harvest Support. They are an a valuable asset to us as custom harvesters and New Holland as a corporation. As always, a heartfelt thank you is also deserved by our faithful customers who keep Roland Harvesting going year after year! And not to get all sappy, but lastly I want to recognize my parents – Alan and Loretta – who have built Roland Harvesting into the successful business that it is today. Our family has embraced all the challenges, triumphs, and hardships that have come our way over the years. Without all their hard work Roland Harvesting wouldn’t have the legacy and pride it has today.

New Holland
Roland Harvesting represents New Holland at its finest.

Cutting at dusk
After a long day in the field there is nothing more peaceful than a gorgeous view like this. 

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Megan can be reached at megan@allaboardharvest.com.

Posted in 2014, All Aboard, High Plains Journal, Megan, New Holland | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Megan: Full Circle

One of my favorite highlights of harvest has always been having kids come out to the field – whether they’re a toddler or a pre-teen I absolutely love having little ones around. Watching that proud smile beam across their face as they confidently drive the combine while perched up on your lap will certainly make your heart melt. The look of curiosity in their eyes as they squish their nose up to the window to watch in awe while the combine unloads on-the-go with the grain cart is something that brings out my biggest grin. Showing them how to shell wheat between their hands and pick out the kernels to pop in their mouth to chew is always entertaining and often humorous. Teaching a city kid how to drive a manual pickup is a major challenge to endure. But, experiencing their first time successfully shifting through the gears makes it all worth it and that “high five” is one of the best ever given. Moments like this are truly priceless. The glimmer in their eyes and the giddiness to learn, do, and experience everything on harvest is uncontrollable. These feelings of sheer excitement from children are beyond contagious and are something that I have always thrived on.

As fate would have I am now a pediatric/labor and delivery nurse. Living in Wyoming and working at a rural hospital I’m able to relate to almost any child that I come across. Being able to talk “farm” or “cattle” with the kids helps me bond with my patients and their families in a very special way.

Even though I love my kiddos at the hospital, I still miss my kiddos out in the field. Luckily, this harvest season was filled with many surprises from children of all ages!

Taylor, Zach, and Ava with their wheat
During our time in Hoxie, Kansas some of our cousins came to visit! Above: Taylor, Zach, and Ava show off their stalks of wheat before we show them how to shell the wheat by hand.

Mom and Ava in the field
Mom shows Ava the underside of the stripper header. For many years Mom hauled us kids around harvest the same way. Exploring in the field is always fun, but safety comes first and little ones are often hard to see.

Taylor driving tractor
Taylor learned to drive the tractor and did a fantastic job! Growing up in Colorado Springs, Taylor tells me she is probably one of the only people in her class who can say she’s driven a tractor and combine.

Ava, Zach, and Megan in the tractor
Ava and Zach took turns riding in the tractor with me and the combine with Mom and Dad.

Ava loves harvest
Ava loves harvest thiiiiiis much! A heartfelt thank you to the kid’s dad, our cousin Mark, for taking the time to bring everyone out to the field. We had a great time seeing you all! 

When I was helping with harvest around Chadron we had a surprise visit from some very special people. Angie, our family friend who used to babysit us kids when we were little, spent many summers helping us chase the harvest around home. She made an extraordinary effort to track us down this summer so her own kids could experience harvest.

Brandon, Angie, Megan, Lilli, Lukes, and Allison
The whole gang poses in front of the big yellow beast! Back: Brandon, Angie, and Megan. Front: Lilli, Lukes, and Allison.

Brandon, Angie and kids in the cab
Brandon, Angie and the kids all piled into the cab for a combine ride. Our entire family of five used to squeeze into the TR95 cabs, which were half the size the CR cabs are nowadays. I wish we could find a picture of that!

Ezra waiting at the truck
When the crew was working around home we had visits from more cousins! Above: Ezra takes a break in the shade after truckin’ with James and Uncle Carl.

Mom, Chloie and Hadley in the combine
Of course, the girls, Chloe and Hadley, had to venture out with Mom and me. The girls snuggle up next to Mom before a combine ride.

Hadly and Chloie at the truck
Hadley and Chloe had to get out and stretch their legs while the combine was unloading on the truck.

Girls in the combine
One last picture with the girls in the combine before I head back to Sheridan for work.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Megan can be reached at megan@allaboardharvest.com.

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Z Crew: A Farewell to Summer Harvest 2014

headshot2Jordan, MT/Louisville, NE: Summer 2014 started a little rocky. Without jobs in Texas or Oklahoma due to drought/frost, no one really knew what the rest of the season would be like. Thankfully, it was better than most expected and some farmers even had the best crops they’ve ever seen. Harvest crews stayed busy for the most part. Mom and Dad had been able to stay in the field without issues until the rain hit Montana a couple days ago and now the last field with only half a day of work is sitting after almost 10 inches of rain.

Mom and Dad are at a standstill for the moment but as soon as the wheat is able to be cut they hope to maybe pick up a little extra work and then make the 900 mile drive home. Fall harvest will be starting around home before we know it. College football season has started and the local apple orchards are getting ready for their fall festivals. I’m excited for my second favorite time of year (summer is always #1) to be underway but I’m even more excited to have my parents home again.

I start my sophomore year of college on Tuesday and look forward to another year of learning. Just yesterday I received my acceptance letter into the University of Nebraska at Omaha so I can transfer there this spring to begin classes towards my elementary education major. I’ve been waitressing at the local cafe but am still searching for a job where I can count on a regular paycheck. It’s no fun growing up but I thank my parents every day for the life skills they taught me, especially during harvest time. Work hard and get the job done. Don’t be afraid to talk to people; make connections for networking. Be personable. Put more money in the bank than you take out. God and family always come first. Good food makes people happy.

From all of us in the Z Crew we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for joining our summer adventures. You have no idea what your support in agriculture means to us. Have a safe and prosperous fall and we’ll see you in the spring! God bless.

Taylor; Louisville, NE
Jamie, Curt, Eli and Callie; down the block Louisville, NE
Jenna; Boone, IA – Farm Progress Show
Jim and Tracy; Jordan, MT

Z Crew: Washing hands

Dad has used old laundry soap bottles as make-shirt hand washing stations for as long as I can remember. He’s a crafty guy.

Z Crew: Montana
Views like this make eastern Montana my favorite stop. I already miss it.

Z Crew: Grain truck view
Mom snapped this pictures from the back of the grain truck! Quite the view!

Z Crew: Cutting before dark
Cutting before dusk.

Z Crew: Maters
I’ve got lots of tomatoes on my hands! This second batch will be canned later this week.

Z Crew: Late night work
I stay busy chasing around this guy. When he works night shifts and then has a night off his hours are all messed up. Hanging out in the garage at 2am is sometimes the only time I can see him.

Z Crew: Eli James
I took Eli to our local splash park the other day. We had a great time. I can’t wait until his little brother or sister is born and they can join us.

Z Crew: 2014
The Z Crew looks forward to a bountiful fall harvest, a (hopefully) refreshing winter, and we’ll see you again in the spring. Until then, God Bless and stay safe!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. The Z Crew can be reached at zcrew@allaboardharvest.com.

Posted in 2014, All Aboard, Crop Updates, High Plains Journal, Jenna, New Holland, Photos, Z Crew | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Steph: Where Does the Time Go?

StephNEW_thumbnailBrandon and I joke that the two and a half days it takes to reach our first harvest destination feel as though it takes the same amount of time as the entire harvest run. It may have started out as a joke, but it has evolved into the real deal. Once we get our headers in the field and our heads back in harvest mode, time has a way of escaping us and next thing we know, we are rolling back into our hometown. We consider ourselves lucky to experience this because it’s a subconscious reminder that we love what we do.

Harvest around home is going to start soon, I promise! I know I keep saying that but Mother Nature always has a plan of her own. The 10 acre patch of barley is all we have completed so far but…alright, I’m not going to jinx it and say when we might harvest, we will just go with SOON. I think I speak for everyone in all of Walsh County when I say the harvest anticipation has hit maximum capacity!

Since graduating college in May, I have been asked one question countless times; “Well, now what are you gonna do?” I know I have given countless answers (backpack across Europe, become a country singer, the usual post-college solutions), but I now have somewhat of a plan! I have accepted a position to assist in the construction of a new seed conditioning plant that is being built in my hometown. This will allow me to stick around throughout harvest and still help dad as much as I can, while still joining the adult world. I also have a trip to Australia planned for the middle of September for two weeks and cannot contain my excitement! It’s bound to be a flurry of a fall.

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all our readers out there. The readers are what makes this whole project worthwhile. Sparking those harvest memories in others and hearing about them is definitely one of my favorite aspects of it. I have loved the opportunity to be a member of the AAWH crew for the past few years. Who knows, maybe I’ll be back next year too! I don’t rule anything out of my future plans these days. Biggest thanks go out to High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture for making this all possible!

Until next time, happy harvest!

Quote of the Day: “Grind em till you find em.”

You might be a harvester if…once you experience harvest, nothing can keep you away from it.

Here are my favorite photos from the year!

Favorite. St. Francis, Kan.

St. Francis, Kan.

Favorite. St. Francis, Kan.

St. Francis, Kan.

Favorite. St. Francis, Kan.

St. Francis, Kan.

Favorite. Jet, Okla.

Jet, Okla.

Favorite. St. Francis, Kan.

St. Francis, Kan.

Favorite. St. Francis, Kan.

St. Francis, Kan.

Favorite. Hemingford, Neb.

Hemingford, Neb.

Favorite. Hemingford, Neb.

Hemingford, Neb.

Crew photo of 2013.

Crew photo 2013! Osowski Ag Service thanks everyone for the opportunity to share our lifestyle and stories from the harvest trail!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Steph can be contacted at stephanie@allaboardharvest.com.

Posted in 2014, All Aboard, Crop Updates, High Plains Journal, New Holland, Photos, Sponsors, Stephanie | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Emma: Is it the end already?

EmmaThis year has been one for the books. It was a hard summer considering we had nothing to cut, but it has been a great blessing as well. Since we were stuck at home, we were able to catch up on a lot of things we have put on the back burner. The biggest project was restoring Dad’s antique tractors. Mom has decided, with the help of Dan and I, to have an auction and sell what Dad called his “retirement.” It is going to be hard on all of us to let them go. I kind of hate to see the “ol’ girls” go, as Dad would say.

Emma: End of 2014
Mid-November is the tentative time for the auction. If you would like to, click this link and see what we have to sell. Pictures will be up soon and the website will be updated as we progress toward the sale date.

There are a lot of things I do not like about this time of year. Everything seems to be ending. It is time for Austin to go back to school as well. It has been a good time having him around and we are glad that he was able to come. I know I have used the word “bittersweet”  in pretty much every closing post, but I cannot find a better word to describe it.

Thank you avid followers. It is you who make my job worth it! A big thanks to High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture for making AAWH possible. This year has been very unpredictable. We have leaned on our faith throughout this year’s ups and downs and we will continue to lean on Him to lead us through. I am very hopeful for what the future might bring and look forward to next years wheat harvest!

Until then, please be safe and God bless you and yours!

Emma: AAWH 2014 shirts
(L to R) Austin, Kristy (aka Momma Misener), Me, Dan and the dogs, Heidi and Jesse.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Emma can be reached at emma@allaboardharvest.com

Posted in 2014, All Aboard, Emma, High Plains Journal, New Holland, Photos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments