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North Dakota State Agriculture Groups Sponsor Film


North Dakota State Agriculture Groups; Lead Economic Development Agency Collaborate to Sponsor the Great American Wheat Harvest Documentary Film

NDgroupEmmitsburg, MD – Jan. 16, 2014 – To help tell the wheat production story from the state that leads the nation in hard red spring wheat and durum production, independent filmmaker, Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, LLC., announces the North Dakota Wheat Commission, along with other state agriculture groups and agencies, have teamed up to sponsor the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film.

Weaver says the North Dakota Wheat Commission now joins the Nebraska Wheat Board, Oklahoma Wheat Commission and the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee as state wheat sponsors. The film focuses on connecting consumers to those who produce their food and will feature stories of North America’s wheat growers and custom harvesters.

“The North Dakota collaboration is unprecedented and speaks to the powerful message we are compelled to share through the Great American Wheat Harvest, Weaver says. “Wheat and North Dakota are synonymous and we are proud to work with each representative and Governor Jack Dalrymple to highlight this state’s stories.”

Value-added agriculture remains one of the target industries at the North Dakota Department of Commerce to broaden the state’s economic base, create new wealth and generate quality jobs for North Dakotans. In October 2013, Governor Dalrymple and North Dakota Wheat Commission Chairman Francis Leiphon joined members of a Taiwanese agricultural trade delegation in signing a joint statement demonstrating Taiwan’s intent to purchase 62.5 million bushels of U.S. wheat valued at about $485 million.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture first endorsed the film project in November 2012, when Commissioner Doug Goehring, wrote a letter of support for the Great American Wheat Harvest and the film’s mission to provide non-agricultural viewers a better understanding of where food comes from
and feature all those involved in food production.

While North Dakota’s early homesteaders raised many crops, growing conditions of the Red River Valley favored wheat on what became known as the “Bonanza Farms”, where the grain grew from fence line to fence line, says Commissioner Goehring.

“Wheat is so important to North Dakota that a state-owned wheat milling operation was established in 1919 to guarantee a market and provide a reasonable price for our most important crop,” Goehring states. “Today, the North Dakota Mill is the largest single-site wheat milling facility in the country.”
Included in the North Dakota collaboration is the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce and the North Dakota Mill and Elevator. Other Great American Wheat Harvest major sponsors include: John Deere; U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc.; C& B Operations; MacDon Industries; Case IH; Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters; TMCO/National Manufacturing; and media partner, AgWired, an online media service at

For more information about sponsorship packages, media interviews, speaking appearances of the filmmaker and questions, contact Jody L. Lamp, GAWH National Executive Co-Coordinator, call (406) 698-9675 or by email at

Film Gains New Sponsor

c-b-operations-clearance-center-id-id-c-b-clearance-center,dafd20b5 C & B Operations, LLC Becomes Great American Wheat Harvest Documentary Film New Gold Sponsor

Emmitsburg, MD – November 6, 2013 – Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, LLC announces C & B Operations, LLC, as a new Gold Sponsor for the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film.  With corporate headquarters in Gettysburg, S.D., C & B Operations, LLC represents 24 John Deere dealerships in South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, all featuring agricultural equipment, service and parts.

“We value the family-owned business traditions of C & B Operations, LLC, and the historical impact this company and the town of Gettysburg brings to the overall narrative of our film project,” Weaver says. “Their management and marketing practices provide the leadership that has laid the foundation of attracting generations of loyal customers, which we appreciate.”

Gettysburg was founded in 1883 by veterans of the Civil War, and in 1991, because of their shared heritage, became “sister-cities”  with Gettysburg, Penn. C & B Operations, LLC began in 1988 when Dan Cronin and Rod Burwell purchased the John Deere store in Gettysburg to maintain a John Deere dealership in Cronin’s hometown. In 1999, Cronin passed away and his son, Matt, took the role of president to date, while Burwell remains chairman.

“A film like the Great American Wheat Harvest encapsulates the heritage of farmers, custom harvesters and life in rural America,” says Matt Cronin, president and CEO, C & B Operations, LLC. “It is important to use communication vehicles, such as this documentary, to show the American public how important the agricultural industry and the family farmers are in feeding the world.”

Having grown up on his family’s farm, which his brothers operate today, Cronin says he values the opportunity for his hometown and state to be a part of the film. “It’s a story that will feature people, like our customers, who are dedicated to producing our nation’s food supply,” he says.

C& B Operations, LLC joins other Great American Wheat Harvest major sponsors like: John Deere; U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc.; MacDon Industries; Case IH; Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters; TMCO/National Manufacturing; Nebraska Wheat Board, Oklahoma Wheat Commission and Montana Wheat and Barley Committee as state wheat sponsors; and media partner, AgWired, an online media service at

Visit the website at to find out how you can help and make a financial contribution to help bring the film to a premier city in your area. For more information about sponsorship packages, media interviews, speaking appearances of the filmmaker and questions, contact Jody L. Lamp, GAWH National Executive Co-Coordinator, call (406) 698-9675 or by email at

Local Broadcaster to be in Documentary


MINATARE — Farm Broadcaster Howard Hale has been following wheat harvests for more than five years.

Now, he has company in documentary filmmaker Conrad Weaver, director, producer and president of Conjostudios LLC of Maryland. Weaver is creating a documentary on wheat harvesting that will follow wheat from the seed to the table. Since January, he has been on the road filming across the wheat belt, which includes Nebraska.

Stops in the Panhandle included one in Chappell, with Jesse Smith at a grain elevator; with Meghan Spyke at Frenchman Valley Coop in Lodgepole; and Wednesday morning with Hale.

Hale was born and raised in Minatare. He was raised in agriculture and was selling ads at KOLT when he had the opportunity to become a broadcaster.

“The station manager said I was the only person there that knew about agriculture, and I moved over to broadcasting in 1985.” Hale said.

He did harvest reports and was doing part-time work for a station in Brush, Colo., when U.S. Custom Harvesters approached him in 1992 to do contract work.

“I did harvest reports from coast to coast and from border to border,” Hale said.

Weaver and his camera have also been moving across the wheat belt. He has had help from Jody Lamp and Melody Dobson, national executive co-coordinators of “The Great American Wheat Harvest” documentary.

“We are at the halfway point, halfway through with the harvest and halfway through with the film,” Dobson said.

Weaver has been following three harvest crews across the wheat belt — Deibert Harvesting; Tracy Zeorian, a custom harvester and president of the U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc.; and Misener Family Harvesters.

Since the documentary started three years ago, Conrad and his wife, Jody Weaver, have met many harvesters.

“These are really hardworking people,” Jody said. “I’ve learned so much growing up in the city. I never thought of the process it took and all the partners involved to get my loaf of bread to the table.”

The growers themselves do some of the wheat harvesting, but many will hire harvesting crews. With time the equipment has become bigger and better, where GPS systems can pretty much drive a tractor.

“There are fewer harvesters, but they can cover more acres as the equipment has changed,” Hale said.

He added that it’s cost effective for a large farm to hire harvesters, with two to 10 machines, than have the machines sit around most of the year.

“Harvesting wheat has to be done on a timely basis. When it’s ready, you have to get it out of the fields,” Hale said.

Hale has been inducted into the hall of fame for U.S. Customs Harvesters, Inc.

The documentary is expected to be done in March, and Lamp said they are hoping to do theatrical presentations, including one in Scottsbluff.

For more information on the documentary, visit

Custom Harvesters in Great American Wheat Harvest

Originally posted on  by Chuck Zimmerman

Kent Braathen U.S. Custom HarvestersLet’s visit with a couple of U.S. Custom Harvesters leaders, Kent Braathen and Tracy Zeorian. I met them during AG CONNECT Expo earlier this year when a big announcement was made about the film documentary “The Great American Wheat Harvest.” The film is in production now with a hopeful release date of Ag Day in 2014. Tracy says that when she was first approached by film producer Conrad Weaver she was a little unsure where this would go. But she has learned that “He’s showing the story that we live and the heart of what we do.”

Kent who is the new President of U.S. Custom Harvesters says they’re very excited to be on board with this project since it will showcase what they are all about. He grew up in the business where like many custom harvesters, it’s a family affair. The film will help the public and folks in Washington, DC and local politics better understand the importance of their industry to the public. He encourages other organizations and companies to come on board and support the film.

Tracy Zeorian U.S. Custom HarvesterTracy has written a great blog post for Ag Day in which she details the evolution of the custom harvest industry. Here’s an excerpt.

The reputation of the custom harvest businesses has changed since the early days. When the industry was in its early years, crews were made up of only men. There were no trailer houses. The custom harvester camps had none of the luxuries of today. Men would sleep in partially filled grain trucks or under grain trucks, tents or barns. The men relied on farmers’ wives for food and often bathed in rivers and lakes.

Custom harvest businesses have evolved in the past 69 years. Combines are larger and headers are longer. The modern-day custom harvest crew is more than likely a family-owned business. They have modern RV’s with all the luxuries of home, including a shower AND washer/dryer. Some crews opt to stay in motels while on the road and eat in restaurants. Children have grown up helping, either at the trailer house or in the field. If they’re really lucky, they’ve experienced both. We still chase that ripening wheat from Texas to the Canadian border! Fall crops, such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers, keep some of these crews on the road for up to six months.

You can listen to my interview with Brent and Tracy here: Interview with Kent Braathen and Tracy Zeorian

The GREAT AMERICAN WHEAT HARVEST is a documentary film that will tell the story of hard-working custom harvesters who travel from the heart of Texas to the Canadian border harvesting the wheat that feeds our Great Country and the World. AgWired is a Silver Sponsor of the project.


Originally published:

Mar. 1, 2013

Source: ConjoStudios news release

Maryland-based independent filmmaker, Conrad Weaver of Conjo Studios,LLC announces a new media partnership with AgWired, an online media service at, for the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film.

Weaver says ZimmComm, which specializes in multi-media event coverage for companies and organizations within the agriculture and renewable energy industries,will help promote the films progress and activities as he captures the stories of North Americas wheat growers and custom harvesters for a Spring 2014 film debut.

He recently unveiled the films new trailer at the AgConnect Expo in Kansas City,Mo.,and launched the films production schedule at the John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline,Ill.

AgWired is owned and published by ZimmComm New Media, LLC. The parent company was founded in 2004 by Chuck and Cindy Zimmerman, with headquarters located near Pensacola, Fla. Both Zimmermans and Weaver are members of the National Agri-Marketing Association and National Association of Farm Broadcasting.

Follow the Great American Wheat Harvest film production at Make a financial contribution to the development and education of telling this vital story of North Americas agriculture by becoming a member of the NEW Producers Club at Digital files of the promo trailers are available upon request.

For more information about sponsorship packages, media interviews, speaking appearances of the filmmaker and questions, contact Jody L.Lamp, National Executive Co-Coordinator, at(406)698-9675or by email at

In the News: High Plains Journal

Wheat harvest documentary will debut in 2014

DOCUMENTARY—Conrad Weaver (far right) will be putting the finishing touches on his documentary about wheat harvest this summer. Weaver plans to debut the “Great American Wheat Harvest” on National Ag Day in 2014. Pictured with Weaver are (from left to right) Tracy Zeorian, Lee Petersen, Dan Misener, and Jim Deibert. These custom harvesters and their families will be featured in the film. (Journal photo by Doug Rich.)

By Doug Rich

The Great American Harvest, a documentary film about wheat harvest in North America, will premiere in Washington, D.C., on National Ag Day in 2014. Producer-Director Conrad Weaver said the film would then be shown at theaters across the Wheat Belt.

During a presentation at AgConnect in Kansas City, Mo., on Jan. 29, Weaver said he got the idea for the documentary from the All Aboard Harvest feature in High Plains Journal. Weaver has been working on the documentary for two and half years.

Weaver introduced representatives of his major sponsors for the project and some of the custom harvesters that will be featured in the film. Major sponsors for the project are John Deere, MacDon, U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc., and the Canadian Customer Harvesters Association.

Barry Nelson said the documentary would focus on three elements that are very important to wheat harvest in North America. First would be the families that are involved in the actual harvest. Second, it would detail the many challenges agriculture faces on daily basis to produce the food and fiber for a growing population. Finally, the documentary will give the public a look at the people who build the combines that the grain by featuring the “Gold Key” program offered to John Deere customers.

Jim Deibert, owner of JKD harvesting in Colby, Kan., will be featured in the documentary. Weaved followed Deibert to the John Deere combine assembly plant where his new combine was being built. Deibert was taking part in the Gold Key program that gives customers a chance to see their combine being built.

“The exposure for the wheat harvest industry will be tremendous for us,” Kent Braathen, newly elected president of USCH, Inc., said. “It will have nothing but great benefit for us.”

Doug Rich can be reached by phone at 785-749-5304 or by email at

Date: 2/18/2013