Meet HPJ’s All Aboard Fall Harvest correspondents

My name is Christy Paplow. I have been harvesting for 11 years now. I didn’t always call home a camper and live on the road, but I wouldn’t change it. After meeting my husband, Paul, in 2008, I discovered that being a harvester is the life for me. We’ve been navigating life together officially since 2011. The years in between then and now were filled with an education in understanding what harvest means for those who make it their life. A life full of uncertainty, risk, fulfillment, and constantly checking the weather forecast.

My job on the crew consists of wearing many different hats. I work side by side with Paul’s mom, Rhonada. She and I cook meals for the crew and keep up campers and laundry. We run for parts and help move pickups from field to field when necessary. We also organize camp spots for our campers and crew trailers, and share all the bookwork. It’s a lot to keep together for our crew.

In 2014, Paul and I welcomed our daughter, Zoey, into the world. She has not known any other way than life as a harvester. She has had a unique upbringing; she’s seen a lot of different places during her six years and met farmers and crew from all over.

These days harvest is a little different from those first few years on the road, but one thing remains the same. We combine a variety of crops for farmers and bring those commodities to local elevators or bin sites, ensuring a complete harvest for our customers.

Gary, Paul’s father, started Paplow Harvesting & Trucking in 1991 with the help of a couple local farmers. Today Gary and Paul run nine late-model Case IH 8250 combines, five Case IH tractors pulling grain carts, and 15 Peterbilt semis with Wilson hopper bottoms. We work hard to incorporate all of the new and state of the art technology in our operation. Our crew fluctuates between about 18 and 22 members.

After completing our summer wheat harvest run throughout the Midwest, our fall harvest this year will consist of harvesting mainly soybeans and corn. We’ll start around home, working in Round Lake, Minnesota, and Hartley, Iowa. We will also begin around Brookings, South Dakota, and work our way through Roscoe, South Dakota, to Holdrege, Nebraska, and Paxton, Nebraska.

I’m excited to see what fall harvest has in store for us this year. We are hoping the weather this fall holds out to be good during the fall months. With a hot and dry summer, I hope we don’t have a wet fall. Crops are looking great around home, so I think we’ll see some good yields this year.

Harvest is a time of tight schedules and working overtime. I’ll be sharing with you all our good times, and those times that harvest gets a little tough. Through all that we experience, you’ll see what makes a harvest crew operate, and all the challenges we face.

Christy Paplow can be reached at [email protected].

My name is Kimberly Neumiller from Neumiller Harvesting. I grew up in the small town of Fessenden, North Dakota, which is 25 miles from where I live now. My husband, Mychal, and I along with our two kids, Bentley and Payzlee, live near Bowdon, North Dakota. I was far from a farm girl growing up, so harvest wasn’t always a part of my life. Let’s just say even my dad didn’t trust me with the riding lawn mower but the Neumiller’s must have a little more faith in me. My first year of harvest was back in 2009, I tagged along to help my mother-in-law with the daily duties of cooking, cleaning, laundry and running for parts. As the years progressed, my roles changed. I am still doing all of the things I started doing but now I find myself running the combine or grain cart more and more every year. It is much easier for me to be out in the field now that my kids are older. Bentley, who is 8, has been driving the grain cart from time to time so he loves the opportunity to join the guys in the field while Payzlee, who is 5, likes to help me in the kitchen. My favorite part of harvest is seeing how excited my kids are when the finally get to see friends that they only get to see once maybe twice a year, or having a conversation with someone that truly understands what I am going through. Everyone has their struggles during harvest and it so wonderful to know there are people that are going through the same thing. One of my “harvest friends” said that there are not many years that come with out challenges and at some point or another we all survive them and learn from those experiences.

Neumiller Harvesting is a family-owned operation that started in 1984 with Roger combining for people around home and continued when his sons were old enough. Mychal and his cousin were the first ones to take the journey south in 2004 with one combine. That is when Neumiller Harvesting was created. As the years went on Neumiller Harvesting added a few more machines and more employees. Today, Roger, Mychal, Cole and Logan along with their families start the harvest journey in Texas with 10 Case combines, three Haul Master grain carts, and 15 semis. We are usually split up with machines running in four different areas. Our run continues through Oklahoma to Kansas over to Colorado then up through Nebraska then back to North Dakota. We harvest spring wheat, winter wheat, canola, and durum in the summer and soy beans and corn in the fall. In past years we have also done, lentils, chic peas, and barley. Our fall harvest stays in North Dakota and we usually add a few more employees, another combine and a grain cart. So, in total we will have 11 Case combines and four Haul Master grain carts running during fall harvest. In addition to the family, we will have about 20 employees. I am always treating them as one of my own because I know what it is like to be away from your family.

We are so grateful for all of our employees—some have been with us for 6 years and some employees will stay during the winter months to help in the shop or truck.

Kimberly Neumiller can be reached at [email protected].