Saturday, August 31, 2013

New To Harvest?

For some of you this may be your first go round for harvest....Well, gear up because this may be a bumpy ride that you may find a little hard to understand at times!

Whether you are just newly dating, or even newly married, experiencing your first harvest on the farm is likely something you will not forget. 

My first harvest on the farm is something I will never forget! We had been dating a few months and I had just moved to South Dakota about a week before we started chopping corn silage. I spent the next few months riding along in tractors and semis, not only with my husband, but with his brothers, my sister in laws, hired help, and my father in law. 

I spent late nights curled up in the buddy seat of the tractor my head on my hubby's lap as he pushed silage. We took funny videos and funny photos and talked for hours. 

But, it isn't all sunshine and butterflies during harvest all the time. The truth is those long nights can get really long and having a meal not in the tractor is something you dream about for a few months. 

My best advice... 

Be understanding and be a part of it. This is the time of year farmers prepare for all year long. Farming is their passion and their livelihood, try to understand that and be a part of it. My farmer loves how I have became a part of his livelihood and I take part in harvest every year. 

Take advantage of one more romantic date night before harvest gets started, we had ours this last Wednesday. Having that last special evening before the busy season starts is something you can remember when you get sick and tired of the late nights and the non-returned phone calls. 

Surprise your farmer with treats. My farmer loves it, and I mean really loves it, when I show up with a fun treat for him in the tractor. If it's my week to cook I make one of his favorite meals. If it is not my week to cook I go for some of his favorite snacks, like a chocolate malt or homemade chex mix.

Offer to help out. You may have a full time job, or you may be in school, but offer to give rides, help fuel up a vehicle, bring out a meal, or even make a run for parts. It's the perfect chance to see harvest in action and show your farmer you are willing to work. 

And last of all. If this is your first harvest...pay attention. And I really mean that. Pay attention to everything that is going on- how much time is invested in bringing in crops, the long hours, the late nights, equipment breaking, the weather. I stress this because harvest is an important time of year for crop farmers. It is something you have to be sure you can live with every year for 2 or 3 months for the rest of your life. 

Being married to a farmer, or dating a farmer, is also about understanding the passion and love that goes into farming. Take this first harvest to really get to know your farmer and what he is all about. And enjoy your first Fall! It's a beautiful time of year and one that is amazing and wonderful to watch as we reap the benefits of the growing season! 

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