Before this year, I would explain how my parents own a custom wheat harvesting business that takes the family from Texas to Montana during the summer, following the ripening wheat. And before this year, I could say with certainty, with excitement, that I would be there alongside my parents and my sisters – the crew.
This year, though, has been a little different. After graduating from college in December and beginning my journey down that thing people call a career path, I began forcing myself to come to terms with the idea that I may not be making the harvest run.
As a fourth-generation harvester, heading south when the weather warms is all I have ever known. My great-grandparents started the custom harvesting business in the early 1950s and my parents, Jim and Tracy, ventured out on their own in 1982 with Zeorian Harvesting.
Zeorian Harvesting, based out of Manley, Neb., is a small operation, as we run one combine, allowing us to be a completely family-run business. The closest thing my dad has to hired hands are us ladies – my mom, my two younger sisters, Taylor and Callie, and myself. Prior to 2005, that list included my older sister, Jamie, too.
I grew up on the road, I grew up a “wheatie.” It is in my blood – which is why it is so strange to imagine not being on harvest and why the past months have been so difficult for me. But now, a very recent, unexpected turn of events has given me the option of making the harvest run again – if not for the whole summer, at least part of it.
With this year’s droughts, fires and wheat conditions, all of us in the wheat industry are uncertain as to what the summer, what the harvest, will hold. So I will say what I have been saying to my parents, family and others – it will work out, have faith.
Whether or not I am along, Zeorian Harvesting will be on the road and we are excited to be part of All Aboard again this year. My family has a passion for the custom harvesting lifestyle and we are blessed to have the opportunity to share it with others across the country and around the world.