So far, experts and farmers alike are calling wheat harvest 2020 one of the fastest and highest yielding harvests they’ve seen in quite some time; however, the fast pace has not kept High Plains Journal’s All Aboard Wheat Harvest crews from taking time to invite Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children to their annual field tours.
OBHC is the largest provider of private, not-for-profit, residential childcare in Oklahoma. They are an affiliate of Oklahoma Baptists, which comprises 1,700 Oklahoma Southern Baptist churches and they are in their fourth year of sponsoring HPJ’s AAWH.
Mike Williams, vice president of development at OBHC, said the non-profit has a long history with the agriculture community, so partnering with HPJ was natural.
“Throughout its nearly 120-year history, OBHC has relied on farmers and ranchers throughout Oklahoma and surrounding states,” he said. “Being a part of AAWH allows our students to get a glimpse into the world of agriculture. Visiting the fields is certainly a highlight for our students. They love the combines, tractors and trucks. They have a blast riding in the machinery. One year, there was a delay in cutting and the crew let some of the students drive the equipment and every year, they hope that might happen again. Additionally, for many of our students, the harvest visit is the first up close look they have at a potential career path.”
In their visits with the custom harvest crews, the students receive a crash course in the life of a custom harvester and a farmer. They learn about the equipment, how the wheat is grown and the process of harvesting.
“It is not uncommon for a student to mention they never knew they could work with crops or cattle,” Williams explained. “When they visit the fields they leave with a curiosity of the agriculture world. A couple years ago, one student had the opportunity to ride in a semi-truck and help repair a combine in the middle of the field. He said, “When I turn 18, I want to become a mechanic or drive a truck.” Whether or not that’s what he ends up doing is unclear, but just the fact that he was given an opportunity to think about his future and dream a little, made the visit all the better.”
OBHC is enriching the lives of their students by exposing them to agriculture and with the oohhs and aahhs heard around the farm equipment on these field visits, these kids might just be the next generation of farmers.
Farmers can support that next generation through the 10-Acre Challenge. The challenge enables farmers to donate a portion of their crops to help fund OBHC campuses. Farmers with low cash flow can give a percentage of any crop they harvest and donate it to OBHC at their local co-op. To learn more, contact Rick Choate at email@example.com or 580-224-7094.
“Farmers who contribute grain to OBHC leave a lasting impact on the students served by OBHC,” Williams said. “All services are free of charge to families nor are government funds accepted, so OBHC depends on the generosity of people from all walks of life.”
To learn more about OBHC, visit www.obhc.org.
Lacey Newlin can be reached at 620-227-1871 or firstname.lastname@example.org.