Helping with Harvest

Our friends Tim and Connie own a farm just west of Lincoln.  Tim and his brothers are the fourth generation of their family to farm on this land in central Illinois, their great-grandfather having emigrated here from Ireland in the 1850s.  “In those days, it was either leave or starve,” Tim told me.  In fact, Tim’s brother still lives on the property that was originally owned by his great-grandfather.

They have been in the corn and soybean fields 12-14 hours a day for the past several weeks bringing in his crops and we had the opportunity to ride along in the combine yesterday.  Tim was gracious (and trusting) enough to let each of us take a turn at driving the combine, too.  Though it was a fun novelty for us, I imagine it becomes wearying to do it day in and day out for weeks on end.  Still, Tim loves his work and considers himself grateful and blessed to be able to do it.  We’re grateful to have had a chance to join him on this new learning experience for us.

Suzanne and the kids are packed into the cab of the combine while Tim reaps the soybeans.

A soybean plant before it is harvested.
The combine moves through the field, collecting the crop.
Soybeans after they've been collected by the combine.
One of Tim's dogs stands alertly by the semi-truck, waiting for the combine to return.
Suzanne takes a turn at the wheel.
The combine empties its load into the semi trailer. From here it will make a short trip up the highway to offload at the grain elevator.
Tim watches as he carefully maneuvers the combine to offload the harvest.

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