06/13/17 & 06/14/17 – Central Kansas

Julie Vogts – Spring Valley Farms Inc.

Kansas, known for it’s sunsets, wide open spaces…and wind.  The wind has been so very forceful the past few days it’s been almost unbearable!  I’m just glad it was out of the south because that meant for most of my day,  it was blocked by the grain bin complex we have at the farm.  ​Since that has been my “office ” most days of harvest.
I did get a chance this morning to get some groceries by myself,  make an impulse buy for my twin grandsons and get a drink treat for the farmer and myself before starting work at the bins.

I weigh the trucks so the drivers don’t have to get out two or three times to do it. This saves us time. as I also empty the pit and shovel the grain, if need be. I should probably take a “reality” selfie for ya! But it wouldn’t be pretty! 🙂 Farm hair, no makeup, and lots of sweat and dust, folks!
I left my wheat harvest duty of weighing grain trucks around 4:30 p.m. on the 13th.  Our daughter had a softball game.  I had hoped to just relax and watch her play ball but that Kansas wind was even more fierce come 6:00 p.m.!  It was insane but the girls played a good game and her Daddy even got off the combine to watch. That was a nice surprise, for sure!  That doesn’t happen normally during wheat harvest! Thankful one of her uncles took over for about an hour so he could watch.
 The day ended for the farmer with the field they were in (after the game) being too wet to cut anymore.  Lightning and rain were on the way anyway. The farmer brought the combine and trucks in.  I was already in bed by the time he made it there.  He had some things to catch up on and irrigation water to check long before coming in.
Wednesday the 14th, I had a break from any wheat harvest duties.  I had to go to work at my “town” job.  After working physically and mentally hard for three days in the heat and humidity I won’t lie, it was nice to sit in an air conditioned office!  Another ball game, a late one, was attended by me.  The wind was less and the game was good.
A little bit about our operation!
We use a Case IH 6088 combine to harvest our wheat. We have a farm semi and grain trailer along with one Chevy grain truck.   We normally have one driver but this year, we have had a couple of family members available to help. One is our son-in-law, so that will be nice in the future to have his help. Milton’s one brother also helps at times. We fill our farm grain bins first then hall to the close grain elevator terminal. We are almost to the point that our bins are full.
Milton is a 4th generation farmer. He raises wheat, corn, milo, soybeans and some alfalfa.  During the winter, there are normally feeder cattle to feed, too. We have a few chickens too! We farm about 1200 acres.
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Definition of a HarvestHER - a strong woman willing to do whatever it takes to get the harvest in. She must have these qualities: 1. Be ready to go at the drop of a hat...sometimes without a lunchbox. 2. Has removed the word impossible from her vocabulary! 3. Can hold a baby, take care of a toddler and drive a tractor or combine all at the same time. 4. Must be able to cook for a crew - large or small. 5. Must be able to read minds. 6. Must be able to banter with a parts man until he realizes you DO know what you're talking about. 7. Must be the entertainment director for those rainy days. 8. Be a wife, mom, friend, helper, cook, problem solver, taxi driver or extra crew hand at all times. 9. Can handle the call that makes you react, "You need what? When?" Dropping everything you're doing to make it happen. 10. At the end of the day say, "I really do love this life".

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