Anyone who has spent a summer on a custom harvesting crew knows the feeling that sets in this time of year. The anticipation of harvest adventures and the excitement of heading down the road consumes your thoughts. You can practically smell the hint of wheat dust and feel the warm sunshine on your cheeks as you daydream of firing up the combines in a golden field. Those lucky enough to have experienced this feeling know it is forever embedded in your heart and mind. My family and I like to refer to this feeling as your gypsy soul. It is safe to say that many gypsy souls, including mine, have been in full swing for weeks now.
It’s hard to believe this will be my second summer missing out on the harvest trail. I continue to live in Sheridan, Wyoming, working in my passion as a labor and delivery/pediatric nurse. Even though I love what I do, I deeply miss the buzz of harvest and all of the exhilarating adventures that come with the territory. This summer I have high hopes of tracking down the crew as much as possible. You can take the girl out of the wheat field, but you can’t take her heart out of the harvest!
For the new readers out there, Roland Harvesting is owned and operated by my parents, Alan and Loretta Roland. My dad has been doing custom harvesting since 1978, making this his 37th year of harvest. We run a family-based operation that my older sister (Ashley), myself, and younger brother (Brandon) were raised in and continue to help out with. Brandon plans to take over the operation after graduating college next year. We grew up on a farm near Hemingford, Nebraska, where our parents still reside, farm, and operate Roland Harvesting.
We are proud of the strong crew that will be hitting the road this summer. We have the perfect combination of experience and novice to run a smooth operation. Dad and Brandon are thrilled to have crew members Matt and Justin returning for the summer. We also welcome newbies Jake and Jon, who are in the midst of training. I’ve recruited a few of these crew members to take photos for me when I’m not around. For now, Mom will be staying at home to keep things in order at the farm and make sure spring crops come up with no complications. When the crew has to split up or if they get behind Mom will catch up with the harvest to help out.
As the plan stands now, Roland Harvesting is gearing up to head south in the next day or two. Part of the crew will be taking down a load to our first stop near Altus, Oklahoma. It will take two trips to get everything moved. Dad will be about a week behind them as he finishes planting spring crops at home. Our farmers in southern Oklahoma had a dry winter and their wheat crops were looking rather weary early this spring. Many stressed areas were about to die, but rain set in the 1st of April and hasn’t stopped. These troubled areas were revived and finally started to green up due to the moisture. Now many fields are filled with scattered spots that are not ripe. Last week alone this area of southern Oklahoma had 7 inches of rain. Bring on the mud and chains, right?!
Roland Harvesting is excited to be sharing another harvest run with all of you followers!
On the weekend of May 8 we received 2 inches of rain followed by 14 inches of wet snow. Hemingford, Nebraska is under another extreme weather advisory for the next two days, with predictions of rain, snow, and freezing temperatures. Guess we’ll be loading the combines in insulated coveralls this year!
All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Roland Harvesting can be reached at @allaboardharvest.com.