Blog Posts

Arrived at Elk City, OK

We just wrapped up the second day of our journey to film with custom harvest crews as they prepare for harvest. Today we traveled almost 600 miles from St. Louis, MO to Elk City, OK. Tonight we’re enjoying the fine hospitality of Misener Family Harvesters at their home base. When we arrived this afternoon, Dan showed us around their property and their incredible collection of antique John Deere tractors, most of them work too! We had a great time visiting with Dan, Emma, and Mom (Kristy) around the dinner table (YUM!), and then watched home videos and photographs of harvest experiences – so many great stories!! We can’t wait to shoot interviews with the Miseners tomorrow and Wednesday!!

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Heading West as Harvest Prep Begins

Misener Family HarvestersAfter more than 15 hours on the road we finally pulled into our hotel just west of St. Louis at 9PM CST. Our crew on this trip consists of Producer/Director, Conrad Weaver, and production assistants: Javin Mullet and Ryan Shirk. Tomorrow we’ll continue our westward trek and arrive at the Misener Family Harvester’s  home base in Elk City, OK. Excited to be working on the film!!
We’re so glad for all of our sponsors, including: John Deere, US Custom Harvesters, MacDon, Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters, and many others. Watch this page for daily updates over the next two weeks as we shoot video of harvest preparations.

Misener Family Harvesters

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Custom Harvesters in Great American Wheat Harvest

Originally posted on AgWired.com  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.

AGWIRED FORMS PARTNERSHIP WITH FILMMAKER

Originally published: http://www.agrimarketing.com/s/80651

AGWIRED FORMS PARTNERSHIP WITH GREAT AMERICAN WHEAT HARVEST FILMMAKER
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 http://agwired.com, 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 www.agwired.com. 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 www.greatamericanwheatharvest.com. 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 jody@greatamericanwheatharvest.com.

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 richhpj@aol.com.

Date: 2/18/2013


Production Begins!

Production on the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary has begun! In January we spent a couple of days at John Deere Harvester Works interviewing staff and documenting Jim Deibert going through the Gold Key Tour and picking up his new combines.

In March we’ll be in Oklahoma talking to and shooting interviews with scientists in the wheat breeding program at Oklahoma State University as well as a wheat farmer or two in the area. Then in April we’ll be at the custom harvester’s home bases filming interviews and harvest preparations as our crews get ready to head south for harvest.

We’ll keep you posted as we continue to make progress on this project.

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New Trailer Debuted at US Custom Harvester’s Convention

This past week the PR & Marketing team for the Great American Wheat Harvest film attended the US Custom Harvester’s convention that was held in conjunction with AgConnect in Kansas City. We had a great time meeting many people and talking about this film.

The highlight of our week was on Thursday morning when we sponsored a VIP breakfast event where we debuted our new movie trailer. The breakfast was sponsored in part by Great Harvest Bread Company and the Kansas Wheat Commission. We are very grateful for the support we received from these organizations!

In addition to showing our new trailer,  our sponsors and the custom harvesters who are being featured in the documentary were invited to talk about their involvement with the project.  We will be adding the video content from these presentations to this web site over the next couple of weeks. Be sure to check back to see this footage.
Here is the new movie trailer:

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Production on Film Launched at John Deere Harvester Works

Great American Wheat Harvest Documentary Filmmaker Launches 2013 Production at John Deere Harvester Works Factory in Moline, Ill.

Frederick, MD – Jan. 23, 2013 – The Great American Wheat Harvest (GAWH) documentary filmmaker, Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, LLC announces the film’s 2013 production launch beginning with footage he recently shot at the John Deere Harvester Works Gold Key Factory Tour in Moline, Ill.

As a GAWH Legacy Sponsor, John Deere Moline factory executives and staff members opened its factory doors for the documentary film crew to record Jim and DeAnn Deibert of JKD Harvesting, a premier custom harvesting business based in Colby, Kan, as they took their fourth exclusive Gold Key Experience tour to pick up their John Deere STS combines.

While wheat harvest footage featuring the JKD Harvesting crew can be seen in the original GAWH trailer, Weaver says capturing the Deiberts with their new combines brings perspective to the innovative processes that exist today to help farmers and harvesters become even more productive in what they do. “We appreciate John Deere and their hard-working staff for helping us tell the Great American Wheat Harvest story,” he says.

Great American Wheat Harvest Legacy Sponsors will receive national recognition during pre- and post-production and credited for their support of the success at the film’s premieres and during distribution. John Deere celebrates 176 years as a long-time leader in agricultural equipment and technology.

Jennifer Hartmann, John Deere communications manager, says the Gold Key Tour experience gives its customers behind-the-scenes access to the factory, personalized interaction with the employees and an opportunity to start their own combine for the first time with a skilled Harvester Works operator.

“There is always a great sense of pride in the building when our employees can personally thank customers, who have a direct connection to those who produce and harvest the food we all eat,” Hartmann says. “We appreciate how the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film will tell the complete ‘farm-to-table’ story by including the important role
harvesting equipment helps to increase efficiency in the field.”

The Deiberts started their harvesting business in 1971 and have grown from a one combine operation to several STS John Deere combines with a variety of headers, grain carts and trucks. They travel May through December from North Central Texas to North Dakota harvesting crops such as wheat, oats, barley, durum, spring wheat, field peas, flax, wet corn,
soybeans, dry corn, milo, and sunflowers. “We’ve know many of our customers for more than 20 years,” Jim Deibert says. “We rely on our customers to raise good crops, and they rely on us to bring good people and equipment to
harvest them.”

Deibert commends Weaver for producing the Great American Wheat Harvest film. “This story has needed to be told for a long time,” he says. “Not only from an historical aspect, but to help the American people understand what wheat growers and custom harvesters go through to produce the food that ends up on their table.”

Follow the film’s 2013 production schedule and wheat harvest at www.greatamericanwheatharvest.com and find out how you can help and make a financial contribution to the development and education of telling this vital story of North America’s agriculture. 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) 698-9675 or by email at jody@greatamericanwheatharvest.com.

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Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters Sponsor Film

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Great American Wheat Harvest Documentary Film Receives International Support and Sponsorship from the Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters Inc.

Frederick, MD – Jan. 15, 2013 – The Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film outreach just got bigger with the recent support and sponsorship of the Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters Inc., (ACCHI), says independent filmmaker, Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, LLC.

Weaver announces the new ACCHI sponsorship after being a keynote speaker at the association’s recent annual convention in Saskatoon, SK, where harvesters and industry representatives from both the United States and Canada gathered to work towards improving the custom harvesting business.

“We now have support on both sides of the U.S./Canadian border in our effort to help better connect consumers to the North America wheat growers and customer harvesters who make their food supply a reality. Weaver says. “We thank ACCHI for recognizing the opportunity to collaborate on this international documentary film.”

Formed in April 1983, ACCHI initially dealt with a specific and immediate immigration issue program to successfully guaranteed future access to the United States market through the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Act and NAFTA.

However, as the group celebrates its 30th anniversary, ACCHI president Shawn Gallagher of Vermillion, AB, says the organization quickly evolved to promote and improve communication and understanding with farmers, the public, equipment dealers, manufacturers and all levels of government.

“This project meets the objectives of our organization very well, therefore it was not a difficult decision for our members to agree to support it,” Gallagher says. “The thought of ‘telling your story or someone else will’ truly resonated with me personally.

“On behalf of ACCHI, we look forward to working with Conrad Weaver as he documents the endeavors of everyone involved in supplying much of the world’s wheat supply and thank him for sharing this with the public.”

In addition, Weaver acknowledges the opportunity and potential to update the name of the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary film as more Canadian-based individuals, businesses and organizations come on board to financially back the film.

In 2012, Great American Wheat Harvest major sponsors and strategic partners included John Deere, MacDon Industries, U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc., Teresa Scanlan Miss America 2011 and Harvest For Kids. Upcoming 2013 events for the Great American Wheat Harvest include the Ag Connect Expo & Summit and U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc., Annual Convention, both in Kansas City, Jan. 29-31; and National Ag Day, March 18-19 in Washington D.C.

Visit the website at www.greatamericanwheatharvest.com to find out how you can help and make a financial contribution to the development and education of telling this vital story. 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 jody@greatamericanwheatharvest.com.