Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Harvest Safety

Harvest Saftey :  
While southbound on the Americus Road today in my Tractor and Grain Cart, with my Hazard Lights on, in my own lane, like any other normal vehicle on the road. I turned on my left turn signal and began to decelerate to turn into our corn field. Apparently the SUV behind me was in such a hurry he proceeded to swerve around me (missing my front left tire by less than 2 feet) as I was turning across the road to enter our field.  
Sir I hope you got to where you needed to be that extra minute early! 


I know it's not any fun to get stuck behind slow moving machinery but that is just part of living in an Ag Community. Those roads are our hallways, our tractor cabs are our offices, so please be extra cautious and patient when driving near farm equipment, especially during harvest !  
Farming is already a dangerous occupation; don't make it more dangerous for us when we are the ones providing food for your table. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and be sure to wave and smile as you pass a farmer during harvest because it can be stressful and fast paced time for the farming community

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Top 14 Local Area Harvest Quotes

This list is brought to you by texts and snapchat stories received during #Harvest15 

1. "I wish it'd quit raining so we can start wheat harvest"

2. "I wish it'd rain so we could get a break...my golf game is struggling"

3. "How do you miss the grain cart by that much" (grain all over tractor cab)

4. "I packed a lunch...I ate it by 9:30 am" 

5. "I swear he parks those trucks crooked just to make me get out of my AC and straighten them out" 

6. "It's already 90" (9 am) 

7. "Our combine is running circles around the red one and it's got 10 more feet of header. "

8. "Oh so that cover crop field was wheat, interesting!" 

9. "I never know what to do with my hands while using auto steer"

10. "That wheat was so trashy and pink it should have been on the corner"

11.  "I think I've been in every piece of equipment we own today" 

12. "I'm just gonna hook the planter to the back of the combine and speed this process up!" 

13. "Who worked this field! It's rougher than our county roads" 

14. "You gotta get ya a chair when you're unloading grain" (sends pic of lawn chair by grain bin) 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Expense of Harvest

From the outside looking in it appears that farmers just work the ground, plant, spray, harvest, collect a check and do it all again the next season.  

Let's take a minute and figure up what it costs the farmer to harvest just in a relatable concept to non-farmers . 

Diesel is approximately $2.56. 
It takes about 1 gallon of fuel for every acre harvested. 
That's around $1,280 if the farmer harvests 500 acres. 
If it's muddy conditions you can add another 1/3 of the cost. 
This doesn't include the DEF that the new machines take either ! 

Now let's say the farmer has three semi's he is using to haul grain. 
That's a total of 54 tires; which is equivalent to approximately $19,000 in just tires ! 
This doesn't include the combine (4), tractor (4-6), grain cart (2), or the pick ups (4-8) used to haul fuel and necessitates! 
Don't forget these trucks take fuel too! 

The farmer has to put his trust in a lot of variables that can't be controlled. Their inputs are high without a promise in return. Bad weather, disease/toxins in crops and poor commodity prices are just a few that can take a toll on a farmers pocketbook. 

Now let's look at the time investment: 
Most people go to work at 8 am and come home at 5 pm. In farming, everyday is different but long days seem to be a consistent theme. During harvest we are in the field servicing equipment by 7:30 am, dumping trucks from the night before by 8:30 am, gathering supplies and headed to the field by 10:00 am to hopefully start cutting. We get our lunch and dinner on the go by family members (field meals are the best!). These family members are also the people who get a list of instructions on how and when to move what where... See its confusing just reading it, let alone doing it. They are constantly shuffling everyone around to make sure things go smoothly. Typically we are shuting down machines around 10-12 pm (variant on the humidity and weather conditions). Then we do it all again! 

Although this all sounds expensive and time consuming there is a priceless part of the harvest.  It seems that every year we have family, friends, and landlords that will drive by and see an empty "buddy seat" and crawl into the cab with us. These are the moments and memories that can make a stressful job fun and rewarding! Plus it gives them a glimpse into our world. 

So next time you hear a farmer complaining about how dry or wet it is, how low the grain prices are, how expensive fuel, equipment and land prices are take a minute and say Thank You. After all they are the ones putting food on your table.  

At the end of everyday it's just a farmer, his machine, and God.... 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Hunt

There is nothing quite like the stillness in the morning of a pond or river. The only sounds you can here are the water, the leaves wrestling, and squirrels jumping from tree to tree. In the far distance the honks of geese and quacks of ducks can be heard. It's dark you can't see anything but when that sun does decide to rise, wow. It's breathe taking every single time. It's always different, always unique, and always better than the last.
Sunrise from morning Duck Hunt
December 2014.

The waiting might just be my favorite part of the whole hunt. The anticipation, the pumping of adrenaline when the sounds of birds start to fly closer, the excitement when the flapping of wings is right on top of you. There is nothing and I mean nothing like it. Gun loaded and ready to go, you wait for the moment to pull the trigger. Once that moment comes: you take it all in for a brief moment, lock in on the bird and boom the beautiful chaos begins. Your hand shakes as you reload but you dial in and start all over again until there is no more flapping of wings above you.
Then you wait to do it all over again!

Duck Hunt December 2014.

Somedays you get lucky and get to do this routine four times, somedays all you get to do is set up, wait and share the day with friends as you leave empty handed but full of mental images of what could have been.

It seems that every waterfowl hunter stacks up their kills for the day in their own unique way. Some prefer the truck bed photo, many love to take the picture with their hunting dog, and others set the self timer and get the kills with the group that shot them. No matter how the picture is taken the memory of the hunt will forever be tucked away in the back of your mind getting you excited for the next.

Successful pond hunt, December 2014.

The end of the hunt when you begin to take the decoys down, clean up shell casings, and pack everything away for the next time is always great. The jokes of who missed what bird, the could have and would haves, and the I will get them next time begins until all the kills are cleaned. This, this is where the true memories are made, in the conversations and the time spent together.

End of Hunt January 2015.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Leffler Farms Inc. is officially done with Harvest 2014!!!!

When I first started track it wasn't always easy or natural as some people would say. I have always been told I was a natural but I never understood why people thought that because I put in many extra hours to gain the extra boost I needed to be considered good. It was in those moments that I spent doing extra that no one knew about and I honestly just thought everyone did that. It wasn't until I began coaching at the college level that I realized there are many different types of athletes: 

~ The athlete who relies only on genetic ability (natural talent)
~ The athlete who has to bust their butt and put in extra hours 
~ The athlete who becomes a student of the sport
~ The athlete who just simply has natural talent and a great work ethic 
~ The athlete that let's their head get in the way of their ability
~ The athlete who is lazy and doesn't seem to care 

These are just a few examples, I could go on for hours. The one example I didn't list is the athlete who does the sport for everyone else but him or herself. These are the athletes who show signs of frustration and disappointment the most. Their expectations are made by other people i.e. parents, coaches, siblings, friends or maybe that person they just want to prove wrong. The part that is hard to understand is that these other people may not even have these expectations; the athlete just assumes they do. This is when I see it begin to become detrimental and hard for the athlete to be happy because it's an unrealistic expectation that isn't even there that they are trying to obtain. 

Don't get me wrong, as an athlete I most definitely wanted to please those people who supported me and cheered me on. It's fun to have your closest friends and family there when you have a great accomplishment but its even better when they are there for you in failure. It is in failure that athletes realize other people's thoughts and feelings don't need to be dictated off of their performances either. Until an athlete can do their sport for the love and joy it brings to them they will never meet their full potential in my opinion. It is then that the athlete can begin to quit thinking and trying so hard and begin to allow their body to take over. And that my friends is when athletes will have their greatest performances. 

Now you may wonder what are my expectations of my athletes that I coach at Emporia State. It's really simple I want them to fail, but I want them to succeed as well. Athletes learn from both outcomes. If you really break it down; in baseball the number everyone wants to bat is .300. That's only a 30% average, three out of ten tries is considered successful. In school if you were to get a 30% on a test it would be considered a failure, but in one of the greatest games ever it's considered a great success. The way I see it is, if my athletes can hit three good throws close to their potential out of ten that is success. All I am really asking for is failure if you look at the raw data. This is certainly the beauty of sports. 

So, Athletes learn to love the sport that has given so much to your life. Be present where you are and appreciate the little victories just as much as the big ones. Look around and see who is there celebrating with you and then again who is by your side when you fail. Times goes fast so don't waste it by doing it for someone else. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Record Breaking

Yesterday we got off to an early start thanks to Daylight Savings Time. We managed to cut 175 acres of double crop soybeans in approximately 9.5 hours!!!!!!!

There really isn't much more to say

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First Round Done


We have officially knocked out the first round of soybeans at Leffler Farms Inc! We are guessing by Friday we will be starting in on our double crop soybeans. In the time between we will be cutting for one of our neighbors and keeping busy.

I am always amazed how the timing seems to work out on the farm. As we finished the first round we used our days off with some family time. My grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary with over 100 of their closest friends and family members. Just another reason to love small towns and the support systems that come with them.