Well…once again, the days have run together and more weeks have gone by since I allowed myself to sit down and write about the adventures of the Z Crew. Our time in New York City was phenomenal! One major thing I would have changed (if I could have) would have been the weather. The “winter-that-just-won’t-quit” continued the entire time we were on our trip of a lifetime. It was so cold, we were ducking into stores hoping to find gloves and hats. Unfortunately, all the winter items had been taken off the shelves to make room for summer merchandise. Dang it was cold! The final day of New York was spent at The World Trade Center site and Central Park. The girls LOVED Central Park (especially Taylor) and I really wished that it had been more spring-like weather instead of a strong bitter cold wind. All we wanted to do was get somewhere warm. Our last evening was spent washing clothes, packing and preparing for an early morning departure. We had tickets to take the Amtrak from NYC to DC and had to leave the apartment at 6:00 a.m.
We got to DC just in time to drop our luggage in the room and head for the Capitol building. Dan Misener had set up a tour for members of our entire group. Maybe I should back up just a little. The reason the entire family was in DC for Ag Day (rather than just me with USCHI) was to participate in the premiere showing of The Great American Wheat Harvest movie. It was Callie’s idea to make a quick detour through NYC before getting to where we were headed. I’m so glad we made it all happen. Having the opportunity to see something new with most of the family (we were missing Curt) only happens once in a while. So…now, back to the DC part of my story.
While the large group (which included Deibert’s, Dilse’s, Misener’s, Petersen’s, Wolgemuth’s and others) toured the Capitol, Kent, Dan and I headed to a planned Ag Day event as representatives of U.S. Custom Harvesters. The next day was Ag Day and the day we’d all been waiting for for nearly four years – the premiere.
The girls had purposely not watched the movie in Wichita during the convention. They wanted to see it for the first time in DC. They gave it a “thumb’s up”. We laughed…we cried…and we felt proud of who we are and what we do. Conrad did it!! He correctly told the story of the custom harvester and all that we go through to get that crop cut when it needs to be cut for the farmer. He effectively told the story of who we are and what we do. What began as an idea and a telephone conversation (while driving the combine in a Montana wheat field) turned into reality that day and the world was going to be exposed to our lives. Thank you, Conrad, for doing what you set out to do and doing it SO WELL! Jim and I agreed to do this because we believed in the project. We did it because we wanted to tell our story. We did it because we felt the people who don’t understand how their bread makes it to the grocery store NEEDED to know. We agreed to do it because it needed to be done – before it’s too late. I am certain that EVERY custom harvester that watches this movie will fill with pride knowing it’s their story of our contribution to feeding so many. I’m so proud of you – ALL of you!
Wednesday morning brought a meeting for Kent, Dan and I. The rest of the clan just hung out until we were finished and then we loaded in the van we had rented and headed towards Emmitsburg, MD for another showing of the movie. This night was going to be in front of Conrad’s hometown crowd and peers. This one COULD be the hardest one for him to get through. However, the room was filled with guests and they ALL seemed to enjoy the movie. We had a lot of people ask great questions about the custom harvester. And, I heard, “I never knew” from more than one. So, I guess it did what it was supposed to!
Emmitsburg was just a little more than a week ago and already feels like an eternity! I’m writing this on a couch in a Bed and Breakfast outside of Scottsbluff, NE. Since Emmitsburg, we’ve been to a showing in Lincoln, NE and one of three in Scottsbluff. Each of these have been exciting to be a part of because it’s fun to see and hear the crowd’s reaction. I have so enjoyed being available to talk to after the show simply because the people who will step up and chat will tell me how much they enjoyed the story. Some want to call me a “star”. I’m no “star”…I’m simply telling my story. I’m telling the story for all the other “wheaties” out there. I want the world to know what we do and what our involvement is in feeding the world. I’m certain that if you watch it, you’ll understand why I fill with pride when I see those combines in the field! Why I fill with pride when I hear about the guys who come to help the harvester owner keep those combines rolling. I fill with pride when I see the job my kids do and how this sets them apart from their peers. Agriculture does this to a person! The love of the land and the job that we do is like none other…better than any 9-5 job out there. We’ll never be rich, financially, but we’re rich in so many other ways. We are truly blessed to say that we are custom harvesters!
THANK YOU, Conrad, for telling our story! And to Jody and Melody for being the behind the scenes “get-it-out-there” people for Conrad!
We’re staying at a lovely bed and breakfast called “Barn Anew”. You’ve got to check this place out! It’s absolutely gorgeous and, yes, it truly is an old barn! The Scotts Bluff Monument is literally in the backyard. This is just what I needed after the past two months!
The Midwest Theater in the town of Scottsbluff, NE opened its doors for the first time on May 3, 1946. It’s gorgeous!
Thank you, too, to the people who follow Nebraska Wheatie and the Z Crew who make a point of letting me know you keep up with where we’re at and what we’re doing! I’m so glad you find our way of life interesting. Let me know if you ever have a question or…just check in once in a while. It’s good to know you’re there!!