Check out our recent Facebook stats!
By CHABELLA GUZMAN Staff Reporter
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 www.greatamericanwheatharvest.com.
Rural Radio Foundation contributes to Wheat Harvest movie
The Great American Wheat Harvest movie is moving through the panhandle and Wednesday it got a financial boost when the Nebraska Rural Radio Association Foundation donated $1,000 toward the project.
Westco CEO and President David Briggs, who is chairman of the Foundation Board, says the film which will document the 2013 wheat harvest, fits one of the key missions of the Foundation, educating America about the story of agriculture.
Producer-Director Conrad Weaver graciously accepted the check from Briggs during a presentation at the KNEB studios.
Weaver says production on the movie has already chronicled significant differences in yield, from crippled drought stricken crops in Texas and western Kansas to tremendous yields in eastern Kansas, where rain has been plentiful. The film crews were in the Chappell area and southwest of Kimball recently and will move north into Montana and all the way to Saskatchewan, Canada.
The goal is to have the movie debut on National Ag Day in Washington, D.C in March of 2014 and then tour in movie theaters throughout America, including the Historic Midwest Theater in Scottsbluff.
© 2013 Rural Radio Network. All rights reserved. Republishing, rebroadcasting, rewriting, redistributing prohibited. Copyright Information
Come out and join us as the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film crew heads north and back out on the wheat harvest with its U.S. Custom Harvester Inc., crews in Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana!
We don’t want to miss an opportunity to visit with you.
Please see the schedule below for filmmaker Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, LLC:
July 23-24: Imperial and Scottsbluff, NE
July 25-27: Wall, SD and surrounding area
July 28-30: Billings, MT and surrounding area
In addition, we are taking pre-orders for the NEW Great American Wheat Harvest T-Shirts! Show your support and help share the story by ordering your 2013 Harvest Crew shirt (see attached pictures) at http://www.greatamericanwheatharvest.com/t-shirt-order-page Please expect to wait a couple of weeks to receive your shirt. We’ll send them out as soon as we can. Thank you so much!
To schedule media interviews, speaking appearances or inquire about sponsorship opportunities/benefits contact me, Jody L. Lamp at (406) 698-9675 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frederick, MD – June 4, 2013 – Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, LLC announces Total Manufacturing Company (TMCO INC) a of Lincoln, Neb., and its National Manufacturing equipment division, as a Silver Sponsor for the Great American Wheat Harvest
Established 1974, TMCO specializes in one-stop, concept-to-completion metal manufacturing services from any stage of design, fabrication, paint, assembly and makes parts for some of the world’s top pivot irrigation, weed control, seed planting and harvesting equipment companies. As a division of TMCO working directly with the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), National Manufacturing, produces equipment utilized in the initial processing stages of wheat breeding, storage and milling, test baking and also in product development and quality control.
With its roots deep in the agriculture industry, TMCO and National Manufacturing work with wheat breeders, food research laboratories, universities and companies worldwide that all have direct links to the food supply chain,” says Weaver. “This association further helps our efforts to better connect consumers to those who produce their food as we share the stories of North
America’s wheat growers and custom harvesters.”
Dan Moore, director of operations of National Mfg., Division of TMCO Inc., says for companies that depend on consistency in taste, texture and appearance, and in high-quality wheat, the analysis machines produced at National Mfg., allow for continuous testing of every batch and the monitoring of any necessary correction. “Our equipment exemplifies how much the owners of TMCO, Roland Temme, Tony Marquez and John Albers, are dedicated to the grain and food industry, Moore says. “As soon as they
learned there was a documentary being made about the wheat harvest, they wanted to know how they could be of assistance.”
Since 1939, National Mfg., has been involved with all facets of the wheat industry and worked with the industry leaders who are committed to the challenge of investing all of their time, finances, equipment and hard work for as long as it takes to see the job to completion.
“This is a mindset TMCO INC is familiar with and the Great American Wheat Harvest is a true story that everyone should experience,” Moore says.
TMCO and National Manufacturing Company now join other Great American Wheat Harvest major sponsors including: John Deere, MacDon Industries, U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc., Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters, Oklahoma Wheat Commission, and
media partner, AgWired, an online media service at http://agwired.com.
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 email@example.com.
The Great American Wheat Harvest is the first film that TMCO INC has sponsored, but it’s not the first time TMCO has been in close proximity to the filming process. In 1983, the building that currently houses the National Mfg division of TMCO was used to shoot a few scenes for the Paramount Pictures film, Terms of Endearment winner of five Academy Awards®: Best Picture 1983; Best Actress—Shirley MacLaine; Best Supporting Actor—Jack Nicholson; Best Director and Best Screenplay Adaptation—James L. Brooks.
Here’s an update on the progress of the movie project! Last week we spent time with Jim Deibert of Deibert Harvesting (JKD INC) and his crew as they made final preparations for their first trip south to Texas. The exciting part for us was to actually film their journey to Texas. Seeing 8 semi trucks and a couple of pickups all loaded with harvesting equipment was quite an experience. Unfortunately, we even had a couple of flat tires – but I guess when you have more than 150 tires on the road, you’re bound to have a flat or two. Overall it was a great experience, and we look forward to shooting more footage of harvest crews on the road. More importantly we can’t wait to actually see them in the fields harvesting wheat.
Next week we’ll be in Frederick, OK attending the Harvest Kickoff event sponsored by CASE IH. We’re looking forward to seeing many of the harvest crews at this annual event.
Our documentary crew continued production today with the Zeorian Harvesting & Trucking crew just south of Omaha, Nebraska. We filmed at the garage where Jim has his trucks being serviced and worked on in order to be ready when the wheat is ready. We also shot footage of the girls at school and at home working on homework. Today we’ll wrap up production for now here in Omaha and begin the long trek home to Maryland. I’ll be back out to Kansas later in May to film harvest crews heading south to Texas, if there’s wheat to harvest. The late frost has killed a lot of wheat and there are areas where no wheat survived. Stay tuned, and be sure to share our updates with your friends!
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
Great American Wheat Harvest Documentary Film Receives State Support from Oklahoma Wheat Commission
Frederick, MD – April 25, 2013 – To help support the creation and educational purposes of the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film, independent filmmaker, Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, LLC announces the Oklahoma Wheat Commission board has approved and appropriated funding to become one of the film’s executive sponsors.
Weaver received the announcement while filming during a wheat field day near Sentinel and Elk City, Okla.; and with U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc., board member, Dan Misener of Misener Family Harvesters. In 2012, the Great American Wheat Harvest received a letter of support toGreat American Wheat Harvest Documentary Film Receives State Support from Oklahoma Wheat Commission
endorse the film’s mission from the Oklahoma Wheat Commission.
“We are beyond humbled and grateful for the Oklahoma wheat producers who have invested their time and resources to help bring this film to the public,” Weaver says. “We look forward to welcoming even more wheat state commissions, businesses and interested individuals on board as they recognize the opportunity to collaborate on this international documentary film.”
The Oklahoma Wheat Commission now joins other Great American Wheat Harvest major sponsors including: Legacy Sponsor, John Deere; Platinum Sponsor, U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc., and Silver sponsors, MacDon Industries, Ltd., the Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters, and AgWired, an online media service.
Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, emphasizes the significance and critical timing of this film project to educate and inform the growing population about the importance and contribution of wheat producers and other agricultural industries to
the world’s food supply.
“No person takes more pride in being an environmental steward of the land than the American farmer,” Schulte says. “We believe the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film will show the spirit, teamwork and dedication of our wheat farmers and harvesters and how they work together to bring food to our tables and take the utmost responsibility in caring for the land.”
In 1965, the Oklahoma Wheat Resources Act established the Oklahoma Wheat Commission to include a framework for Oklahoma wheat producers to invest in the promotion of their product, Hard Red Winter wheat. The commission is entirely producer-controlled and works closely with the Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resource researchers to ensure the future of Oklahoma wheat.
Schulte says Oklahoma ranks amongst the top five U.S. wheat producing states. Current state research includes, wheat breeding and genetics; end-use quality; production techniques; nonfood uses for wheat; nutrition consumer education and outreach; and utilization of wheat flours.
After a full day of shooting, we’ve wrapped up our day of interviews and B-Roll at Deibert Harvesting (JKD INC). in Colby, KS. Jim and his crew are busy getting ready for their harvest run which will begin about the middle of May. This year, his crew consists of guys from Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, and Indiana. We shot interviews with most of these guys as well as Jim, his crew leaders: John and Turk.
We also had the opportunity to tour and visit with a grain terminal that handles millions of bushels of wheat that gets shipped to the ports. We were able to watch trucks unloading wheat and even rode the lift to the top of the elevator. Great views from up there! On Monday we hope to see a train getting loaded at this terminal.
Our crew is tired but happy as we’re wrapping up our first week of shooting harvest preparations. We’ll take the weekend off, then join the US Custom Harvesters for their annual safety meeting on Monday. Then we’ll head over to Omaha, NE to wrap up this trip with the Zeorian crew.
— in Colby, KS.
Specific areas of research include: Wheat breeding and genetics; end-use quality; production techniques; non-food uses for wheat; nutrition education of consumers; and utilization of wheat flours.
Many of the concerns farmers had today at the field day is the condition of the wheat after a couple of freezing conditions. With another night of 25 – 30 degree temps coming there is some concern that the wheat may be damaged and not produce a crop.
In spite of the very cold temps and windy conditions we survived the day and enjoyed getting to know more about the wheat conditions in this part of Oklahoma.
A special thanks to Mike Schulte from the OK Wheat Commission to arrange for us to attend and shoot footage at the field day.