Tag : Kansas

Letters of Support and Congratulations

We’ve received letters of support from the U.S. Wheat Associates, the North American Wheat Growers Association, and a letter of congratulations from the State of Maryland for the work we’re doing with the Great American Wheat Harvest documentary.  Thank you for your support!

Movie Promoted on Kansas Ag Show

We want to give a huge thank you to Moriah Wagner for appearing on the AG am in Kansas show to promote the US Custom Harvesters and the Wheat harvest Movie!  AG am in Kansas is a 30 minute daily TV show highlighting the �Good News� about Kansas agriculture, including livestock, crops and AG Business stories along with features about Young Farmers, Master Farmers, Rural Lifestyles, Healthy Yards, Events around the state and much more!  Click here to watch the interview.


Custom Wheat Harvesters to be Featured in Documentary

Original Article provided by Kansas Wheat Commission

Nov 23, 2011

Listen to the audio version here.

Promoting the 2013 feature film, “The Wheat Harvest Movie” are producer Conrad Weaver, custom harvesters Tracy and Jenna Zeorian and Moriah Wagner, movie publicist.

MANHATTAN, Kan. – For most communities throughout the Wheat Belt, harvest represents two weeks of non-stop action, one time a year. Custom crews hired to bring in the crop, however, spend four months battling Mother Nature, weariness, and breakdowns.
The plight of custom harvesting operations will be chronicled in an upcoming documentary entitled, “The Wheat Harvest Movie.” Currently in production by Conjostudios, LLC, it will debut in 2013. The operation owned by Jim and Tracy Zeorian is one of several to be featured in the movie, which according to producer/director Conrad Weaver will “… tell the stories, struggles and pleasure that custom harvesters share in time spent with family and friends harvesting the wheat that feeds the world.”

Several additional custom harvesting operations will be profiled, including JKD Harvesting of Colby; Misener Family Harvesters of Elk City, Oklahoma and Braathen Harvesting, Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Tracy Zeorian, who is president of the U.S. Custom Harvesters Association, Inc., says being a custom harvester gets into one’s blood.

I’ve oftentimes said it is more of an addiction than anything. It’s something that you just love. It’s your lifestyle, like a farmer. It keeps you going, because that’s what you’ve been involved with. We’re ready to go as soon as the combine is put away, we’re looking forward to the next spring again,” Tracy says.

The Zeorian crew hails from Manley, Nebraska. Since 2009, its annual harvest campaign (along with that of three other crews) has been chronicled in a popular feature called, “All Aboard Harvest,” in the High Plains Journal newspaper. The All Aboard Harvest series has generated global interest in the custom harvesting business and the people who own and operate these custom harvest crews.

“I think the people that have found the HPJ series have enjoyed the stories they hear from the correspondents. It comes from the heart. People see that and realize how important we are in the link between the farmer and the market,” Tracy says.

The Zeorian crew has a rich history. About 60 years ago, Tracy’s grandfather and his brother founded their own custom operation. Tracy became a part of that crew as a 12-year-old girl, who wanted to help her grandmother keep the crew’s living quarters clean. Tracy’s grandfather invited her out to the field one day, and “…when grandpa taught me how to run the combine, I was hooked,” she recalled.

Tracy met her husband on the crew in 1975. He was a hired man, who eventually bought a combine of his own. In 1990, Jim and Tracy to took off on their own; now they run one combine and a truck, making stops in five states. Youngest daughter Taylor works in the family’s camper-trailer, cleaning, preparing meals and performing chores. Tracy drives a truck and Jim runs the combine. Older daughters Jenna and Jamie have also worked in the family business. Jim and Tracy’s youngest daughter is Callie.

“We get along very well. Everyone works together; no one job is more important than the other. We’re a team and we pull together. And once the job is done we load up, hit the road and start all over again,” Tracy said.

Taylor, Jenna and Jamie represent the fourth generation of Zeorians to make the harvest run. Tracy is involved in the U.S. Custom Harvesters Association, Inc., in part to ensure the industry’s future.

“There is another generation of harvesters that and that excites the heck out of me, because it will continue, just like farming,” she said. “I just hope the rules and regulations don’t discourage the young people.”

For more about the Jenna Zeorian’s All Aboard Wheat Harvest blog and photos, click on this link to the High Plains Journal project.

To view the trailer for the upcoming film, “The Wheat Harvest Movie,” click here.

Productive Meetings in Kansas

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On November 16 and 17, several of us met in Manhattan, KS to talk with potential supporters and sponsors about the Wheat Harvest Movie. Attending the two-day meetings were Conrad Weaver, Director/Producer, Tracy Zeorian, Sponsor & President of USCHI and her daughter Jenna, and Moriah Wagner who helps with PR and Marketing for the Wheat Harvest Movie. We were privileged to attend a meeting with the reigning Miss America, Teresa Scanlan.

Along with meeting with Miss America, we met with Kerry Boydston Wefald from the Kansas FFA Foundation; Elaine H. Edwards, Coordinator at News Media and Marketing for K-State Research and Extension; Bill Spiegel with the Kansas Wheat Commission &
Kansas Assn. of Wheat Growers; Mark Fowler: International Grains Program and Grain Science Industry at Kansas State University; and Brian Strouts at AIB International.

We also stopped by the Kansas Farm Bureau and Tall Grass Brewing Company where we sampled a great wheat beer!

It was a very educational two days, and we hope that a number of these organizations will come on board with us as sponsors. Thanks to Moriah Wagner who did a great job of coordinating these meetings!

Meetings in Manhattan, KS

Teresa ScanlanToday, I’m on my way to Manhattan, KS for  couple of days of important meetings with a number of agriculture organizations, Kansas State University, and the current Miss America, Teresa Scanlan.  Moriah Wagner, our public relations assistant for the Wheat Harvest Movie has been working hard to arrange these meetings. Tracy Zeorian, President of the US Custom Harvesters, Inc. will also be joining us.  The USCHI is the platinum sponsor for the movie. We’re looking forward to presenting the story of the Wheat Harvest Movie to the following people and organizations:

The International Grains Program and Grain Science Industry at Kansas State University.

K-State Food For Thought, College of Agriculture and Miss America, Teresa Scanlan

Kansas FFA Foundation

American Agri-Women

Bill Spiegel with the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers

Kansas Farm Bureau

AIB International

As you can see, we have a very full schedule. Our goal is to bring on a number of new sponsors who will partner with us in telling this important story! I’ll be sure to post updates and photos after our meetings.

– Conrad

A Message from the President of USCHI

USCHIA Message from the President of the U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc.

Hello! As president of U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc., I want to thank you for your interest in “The Wheat Harvest Movie”! Nearly two years ago Conrad Weaver, President of ConjoStudios, LLC contacted me regarding his dream to produce a documentary following the annual wheat harvest. It’s our goal as an organization to make this dream a reality!

U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc. is the only voice in America representing and promoting the custom harvesting industry. Our membership consists of 370 individual custom harvesting businesses and 170 industry support businesses. The organization works for the members by providing a positive voice when rules and regulations need challenged or created in Washington, D.C. We work to enhance the relationship between the custom harvesters, their clients (the American producer), service providers to the industry, and to the general public.

The custom harvesting industry has been around for more than 60 years with its beginnings dating back to World War II. Custom harvesters provide a vital link between the producer’s investment and the market. They provide the service of harvesting grain in a timely and efficient manner – sometimes trying to beat that storm cloud brewing on the horizon.

It’s the desire of U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc. to help the “The Wheat Harvest Movie” make a connection between the agricultural world and the American public. We feel if consumers were more aware of where their food comes from, they will protect this valuable resource rather than pushing it out of business. If Americans forget where food comes from and have to begin importing food due to the rules and regulations that are pushing Ag industries out of business, it will be too late. Education is a tremendous tool to gain knowledge and this documentary
project is such a tool!

I would like to encourage you to jump on board and support this important documentary! Currently there is an effort in the agriculture world to tell the story of food production from start to finish, so the timing for the “Wheat Harvest Movie” is perfect! Your contribution – whether large or small – will benefit this important story which NEEDS to be told. Please help us make this dream a reality!


Tracy Zeorian, President
U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc.