Hoffman Harvesting crew all aboard for an unpredictable harvest season
By Jada Bulgin
By Jada Bulgin
Do you ever wish you could predict the future? While custom harvesters can’t predict the future, weather helps us determine our future. With dry reports across the central Plains, it unfortunately means the outlook of our season is bleak.
If you ask any seasoned harvester what a harvest season entails, he or she will most likely reply, “Every year is different. No year is ever the same.” This is one of the things that make harvest alluring. It is exciting to see the results of farmers’ hard work as we help them bring in their harvest and how it compares to previous years.
Since I was born, I have had the pleasure of joining my parents on harvest. My dad, Perry Hoffman, started Hoffman Harvesting in 1972. Born into the harvesting world, Dad learned the specifics of the custom harvesting industry as he grew up helping his father with his harvesting business. At the age of 17, Perry decided to branch off and start his own harvesting business. In the beginning, the business had two 6600 John Deere Combines, two trucks and a 1 1/2 ton truck that was used as a service trailer. In 1974, my mom, Candice, joined Perry’s hand in marriage and the business.
Today, our operation offers state-of-the-art harvesting solutions such as four 4WD John Deere Combines, Kinze Grain Carts with scales, and several Kenworth Semis for hauling. The business specializes in harvesting barley, beans, canola, corn, flax, Milo, oats, sunflowers, and wheat. My husband, Leon, and I play a managerial role in our family-owned business and have since 2009.
Our 3-1/2-year old daughter, Kaidence, joins us and has since she was born. While people who don’t understand harvest often find our nomadic lifestyle odd, I feel lucky to have had the experiences I have had because of my parents’ profession. I feel blessed to be able to raise my daughter in this type of lifestyle. Custom harvesting exposes children to many different people. If you ever meet my chatty daughter who knows no strangers, I will have to say it’s thanks to harvest. Harvest teaches kids a work ethic, how to appreciate the company of others no matter who they are, and the importance of family.
Our close-knit group eats, sleeps, works and plays in close quarters. While having people so near sometimes makes me feel like we could fill a reality show with enough drama for a season, at the end of the day I like to think of our crew as a family. Our job is to harvest, but we enjoy the company of the people around us and the work we do, which makes harvest more than a job. It’s a lifestyle choice.
We look forward to seeing how our future unfolds before us. Only time will tell how well our harvest season will go for us. All aboard!
Jada Bulgin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.