As I write this column, harvest 2014 is complete for the Degner family. The combine and grain cart are tucked away in the machine shed for another year. The tillage work has also been completed for the fall harvest. 

At the start of harvest, my dad and brother were very nervous about the late fall moisture that was being “proposed”. It was very important for them to get as many possible hours in during harvesting the corn and beans. There were many long days and nights, but after looking back at it they told me harvest actually went very smooth. We are fortunate in our area to have had a smooth harvest; we didn’t have to struggle with many muddy spots. My family and I hope that all of you reading that are farmers had a safe and bountiful harvest, as well.

I enjoyed being able to come home on various weekends to help. My preferred job is running the grain cart or riding alongside by brother or dad in the buddy seat. Nothing beats the conversations we have in the field!

One of our dogs Jake also loves to ride in the grain cart and semi. He will follow my brother around so he doesn’t miss out or he will just sit by the steps of the tractor for someone to let him in. Surprisingly enough, he can jump right into the tractor without any assistance. As you can see in the included photo, Duke also enjoys a quick round or two. 

Since the fieldwork has come to an end, our attention has now turned towards receiving our fall Western calves. This is another fall harvest round up for the ranchers in the Western states that move their cattle before winter arrives. We were pleased to have had a dry fall to receive the cattle. As we look to the future forecast, my family sees snow and plummeting temperatures. We are preparing for this and hoping the calves adjust well.


Kayla Degner was born and raised in rural Lytton, IA on a diversified grain and livestock family farm. She graduated from Rockwell City-Lytton in May 2012 and currently attends Iowa State University studying Agricultural Communications. Her past involved many agriculture venues. Kayla has a strong interest in advocating to the youth involved in agriculture.

Contact her at [email protected].