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U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

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Comments, questions, opinions...this is your chance to speak out regarding anything and everything reported on U.S. Farm Report. Viewer feedback updated regularly.

Look Who's Driving the Grain Cart...

Nov 07, 2011

I have been 'Captain Combine' for years... tried running the grain cart and found you are so correct.. he is the most important and overworked person on the crew.  Patience and caution along with the ability to fill on a slope while not being able to see into the truck are the top priorites for the operator. I have had 4 or 5 cart operators running next to me over the last 30 years.. this is not a task you master in the first year or two, which adds some source of frustration and entertainment to the combine operators day. You are spot on with your asessment of the harvest dance.
South Central Nebraska
#2:  My name is Barb Dennison of Cato, NY.  Yesterday my husband and I were watching U.S. Farm Report when you were discussing your "promotion" to cart operator.  It was great!  We joke with each other a lot about who has the more important job.  Well, I am the cart operator and he runs the combine.  I am always telling him how I have to keep up with the combine.  Running back and forth filling trucks.  Making sure you are always in the center when filling.  All kidding a side, we work quite well together. Anyways, we really enjoy the show.  Keep up the good work and Happy Harvesting! Barb Dennison

#3:  I enjoyed your comments this morning regarding your "promotion" to the operation of the grain cart, but I fear I must respectfully disagree.  Far from having the most important harvest job, I believe you may be perilously close to being labeled as "extraneous."  I refer you to the Kinze Mfg. Autonomy Project.  Your job may soon be taken over by a laptop computer or possibly even a smartphone.

   I would therefore like to nominate the true hero of the harvest operation, that unsung heroine who stays so much in the background that she gets taken for granted, the farm wife.  Who else in the operation of the farm would be willing to be the parts runner, prepare delicious hot meals brought to the field, fill in as occasional combine, grain cart, OR truck operator, have an encouraging word and a hug when you've had the fourth or fifth breakdown of the day, and handle all the farm business, all while juggling the kids' school and activity schedules, PTA, and keeping the house for you while you're out in the field?  I would dare to say she is seriously underpaid, except how many wives get paid at all?

   So I'll close by saying that if your wife (or daughter, or daughter-in-law, etc) has done even a few of the things listed above, consider getting her a dozen roses (or something really nice) after harvest is done.  You'll be banking up more appreciation from her than you can possibly imagine.  In the greater scheme of things, isn't she worth at least as much as that $300,000 combine you're chasing around?
Hope everyone is having a safe harvest season.
Kent Wagoner
Parma, Idaho
Dear Mr. Phipps,
    I really enjoyed your piece on driving the grain buggy.  My husband does that for a local farm family since he retired from farm management.  The joke most places is "How much does Mary pay them to let you work?"
    I write a weekly devotional blog and the last two weeks have been on harvest.  The one posted Nov. 4 showed pictures of Bill and compared God to a combine. If you would like to read it, please go to:
    Thank you for the excellent farm show you present.  I love that farmers are represented honestly, as business people who have to make very expensive decisions, instead of the usual old truck/chickens in the yard/housewife with dress and socks/old tractors/no modern buildings/etc that most people see in commercials or movies about farmers.
Mary Earle
North Manchester IN
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