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(Photo by Stephanie Cronje.)

It’s been awhile—3 years, to be exact—but we are happy to be back and sharing our harvest habit with you once again. You can take the girl out of harvest, but you can’t take the harvest out of the girl.

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From our perfect wedding day! (Courtesy photo.)

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From left to right, Brandon, Pieter, Steph, Mama Loree and dad Bob. (Courtesy photo.)

For those of you who are wondering—who is this girl and why is she acting like she knows me? Allow me to explain.

My name is Stephanie Cronje, formerly Stephanie Osowski. I grew up going custom harvesting with my dad, Bob, mom, Loree, younger brother, Brandon, and assorted crew members for 26 years of my life. Brandon and I grew up behind the wheel of combines, pickups, trucks and tractors, learning work ethic and being “brainwashed” (as Dad calls it) with a passion for wheat harvest. Ultimately, it transpired into a passion for all things agriculture.

We make up Osowski Ag Service, coming to a wheat field near you. However, we’ve got some serious life changes to let you in on.

First and foremost, on harvest back in 2015, there was this handsome South African that I met in a trailer park in my favorite harvest town of all time St, Francis, Kansas. Four trips to South Africa, three jobs and two places of residence later, fast forward to Sept. 7, 2019, we became husband and wife! We both have full-time jobs in our hometown of Grafton, North Dakota. Pieter is a farm manager and I am the integrated solutions consultant for our local John Deere dealership, True North Equipment. We are slowly settling down and the answer to the No. 1 most popular question we get asked is married life has been very good to us.

Mom and Dad have stayed home from harvest the last couple of years, but that doesn’t mean the harvesting has stopped. Between my dad and brother, they’ve obtained some land of their own and continue to keep one foot in the field at all times. Brandon also has some off the farm income coming in, as he works for True North Equipment as a service technician. Mom paints and wallpapers with one of her lifelong friends, as well as owns “half the town.” She owns multiple rental properties in town! Can you tell we all like to keep busy?

But do we miss going south on harvest?

Yes.

There will never come a May where we won’t feel that familiar itch to pack up the camper and equipment and hit the even more familiar trail to southern Oklahoma. We talk about it all the time, seriously. All our best and fondest memories as a family were made on the harvest trail. We had many of those dear friends we made over the years make the journey up to North Dakota for my and Pieter’s wedding!

This will be my third year spent having a “normal” summer at home. What is normal, anyway? I don’t think it will ever feel right and we talk about the possibility of going back on the run but for now, the 10-ish days of blissful wheat harvest days around home will have to do.

My contribution to the All Aboard Wheat Harvest program will begin and end with our little North Dakota harvest. My promise to you is, although it will be short, it will be as sweet as can be.

We can’t wait to share some snippets of our North Dakota lifestyle as well as our love for harvest with you once again.

Until then, enjoy the other fabulous and talented correspondents out on the trail! Know that our hearts are there with you and stay safe, happy and covered in as little wheat chaff as possible.

Happy harvest!

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

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