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This photo was taken by Laura during fall harvest of 2019. We were all completely oblivious to what was about to happen in the world.

I want to open this season with a sincere and concerned, "How are you?” One of the sayings I’ve heard thrown around recently is “We are all in the same storm, but not in the same boat.”

I know you all have been affected by the events of the past several months in different ways and I hope and pray you are weathering the storm as well as possible.

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See you later, Daddy! It is an exciting time to see the machines head south.

The season has gotten off to an extra adventurous start for our proverbial boat and has required us to tighten up our lifejackets a bit, pop a Dramamine and hold on tight to our oars!  If someone would have told me last year as I left the run that the world would look like this today I would have thought they were crazy. But, here we are, smack in the middle of history in the making. The virus has required us to make changes from our old normal to protect ourselves and others. While those changes are meant to keep us safe, some have unintended consequences that are far reaching. At the time of this writing, the crew is cutting away in Texas, which gives a sense of normalcy to the current situation. But, there is something missing and that is the familiar faces of our past team members who have yet to be able to travel. It is difficult because we developed relationships with them, depend on their skills and they count on us for employment. We hope we will be able to see them soon as things begin to open and appreciate those who have filled in during their absence. On the other hand, we had some new and past members who jumped right in, helped get equipment prepped for the season and really rose to the occasion.  Despite the challenges, we are traveling with our full fleet and are committed to doing our part to feed the world while serving our customers during these unprecedented times.

I’m thankful to report our family currently is in good health. When you look at the world from that perspective its hard to complain about other things. Lady A and Little Man are growing up way too fast. Scouting, gymnastics, reading and math with words like “vertices”—who knew this was a kindergarten concept?—kept us on our toes this year prior to the change. We moved our schooling home in March. It posed challenges and a healthy dose of mom guilt as I balanced working from home and momming. It was a blessing that we got some unexpected, extra family time when the three of us moved our schooling home. I never dreamed I would end my first year back in the classroom from my dining room table but that’s just what happened. I couldn’t have been more proud of my children and my students' efforts in these uncharted waters and know we’ll be in good hands with the next generation of agriculturalists.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc. and High Plains Journal. Laura Haffner can be reached at laura@allaboardharvest.com.

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