Some people think being a “wheaty” is a bad thing. I am a complete opposite. A wheaty is a hardworking, fun-loving, family-oriented person who works hard in the field with the goal of feeding America. Above all else, they are a custom harvester.
I am a custom harvester and have been one since I was a freshman in high school. This summer, however, will be a different experience for me. I was born and raised on a farm in Montana, and then one summer out of the blue, my dad started a custom harvesting business. I volunteered because of the giant adventure that awaited me.
My love for harvest came early in my life. I can vividly remember my first harvest memory. I was sitting on my grandfather’s lap in our John Deere combine, because the buddy seat wasn’t invented yet. I was mesmerized by the header and all the moving parts but was widely advised by my parents to not get too close. But what really made me fall in love with harvest was the smell.
The smell of harvest, to me, represents a job well done—an end to a hard working year. But most of all, harvest is the smell of my summers for as long as I can remember. Since our company is pretty young, I haven’t been absolutely drenched in harvest, but I sure learned quickly about the lifestyle and the work ethic you need to be a custom harvester.
I am older now and currently a student at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I am studying communications and planning on furthering my education by attending graduate school. At school I am the sports editor of the school paper, the UNLV Rebel Yell, so covering a lifestyles topic such as harvest will be new to me. My roots have been based on our farm, but my father has given me the liberty to chase my dreams. Though he always reminds me there is a place on the farm for me.
Speaking of my dad, Roger Sammons, he always dreamed about going south and making the harvest run. My dad owns his own farm in Cut Bank, Mont., and has met many of the harvesters during their stops in Montana. One of his friends he met was Jim Campbell. Through the years, they always stayed in contact, and in 2004 Jim told my dad about an opportunity to go south. That was the birth of Sammons Adventures.
This will be Sammons Adventures’ sixth year on the run and personally my fifth. We have harvested in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana but have never had the same runtwo years in a row. That will be no different this season, as the weather always plays a factor in where and when we will cut. This season we will start outside of Wichita Falls, Texas.
We literally bleed red on harvest, as the colors of our machines are red. We have four 8120s, a Case tractor to pull our red grain cart and three Kenworth W-900s, a Kenworth T-800 and a Peterbilt 359 that all match Case I-H red.
As a crew we are 11 strong, my dad as the boss, four truck drivers, four combine operators, a grain cart operator and, of course, the cook. Through the course of the year, I will introduce everyone and talk a little bit about where he or she comes from and why he or she came on harvest.
As a crew we work hard, but we also play hard. I will tell stories of our times not only on the daily grind but also away from it if we get a rain day. In the past we have taken in tourist points around the areas we have been cutting and even have gone to a few baseball games. Every day is a new adventure, whether we are working or not.