Hey, everyone- my name is Amanda Porior and I’m excited to share my stories of the custom harvest world. It’s definitely refreshing for me to be able to talk about my job and what I do without having to “dumb it down” to the basic concept.
I moved to Nebraska in 2012 from the heart of dairy land in Wisconsin. The scale of grain farming in the Plains was at first astounding to me.
My husband, Matt, and I work for a family owned and operated large scale grain farming and custom harvesting company called Danielski Farms and Harvesting based out of Valentine, Nebraska. The company farms roughly 20,000+ acres of its own and does custom harvest in TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, and ND. Matt is one of the main managers of the custom harvest side of things and has been doing this full time since moving to NE in ’09. (We grew up together in Wisconsin and have known each other since middle school.)
People over the years have asked me “What do you do for a living?” When I give them the basic answer of “I work for a farm and travel for custom harvest” their comment back usually goes along the lines of “Oh, so you must be a secretary or something.” (If only they knew, right?)
I do play secretary when we’re on the road for harvest. I keep track of internship paperwork, receipts, payments, make hotel reservations and things like that for all the crews. This year we have a total of 25 people going on harvest, and it’s a job keeping track of everyone and everything that needs to be forwarded back to our main office in Valentine.
I’m usually on the ground (aka: equipment hauler & mover, flag vehicle, lunch getter, part & errand runner, fuel delivery girl, running samples to the elevator, etc.) but you can just as easily find me in a combine or grain cart. I usually stay with Matt’s crew, but tend to bounce around more than often.
During the winter along with working in the shop, I recruit possible new hires and interns for the next season, help with interviews, etc. But no, I’m not an office person at all. My office is inside of a pickup, combine, or tractor. In the spring I live inside of a tractor doing field work, and you can usually find me in a grain cart during the fall.
I love photography, and you can usually find me with my Nikon strapped around my neck or darting out for a quick pic with my phone. I love to travel (apparently I don’t get enough of that during the season), write, read, and cook. Matt and I have been married since this past March, and we have a four year old German Shepherd/Kelpie named Bella who still thinks she’s a puppy. We just purchased our first real house together less than a month ago (not something I’d recommend doing right before leaving on harvest an during a rainy planting season) and are excited to get back to it late this fall.
I also have a personal blog called Caffeine and Diesel (www.caffeineanddiesel.com) where I not only write about life as a custom harvester, but also include my thoughts on current events, recipes, etc. -anything goes in my world!