PRATT COUNTY — Neighbor helping neighbor has always been the tradition in rural America, especially in times of need.
On June 27, neighbors of the late Darrel Brant brought combines, tractors, grain carts, trucks and themselves to his wheat fields to bring in the harvest for the Brant family.
Working in four locations at the same time, crews took care of the wheat harvest in just four hours. For Brant’s son Obe Brant, the harvest brought a sense of completion.
“This is closing a chapter for the family,” Brant said.
Fittingly, the last field harvested was the last field Darrel, who was a fifth-generation farmer, was planting when he was fatally injured in a vehicle accident on US-54highway on Sept. 19, 2018. Neighbors stepped up than, too, and helped finish planting the wheat crop, Brant said.
The last field harvested was also on the Brant farmstead at the place where John Brant, Obe’s grandfather, built the family home in Pratt County.
Brant and his sons watched as five combines made quick work of the 47 acres by the house and 160 acres just across the old railroad tracks to the south. Overall, neighbors helped harvest almost 500 acres of wheat. One family provided milk shakes for special refreshments for the harvest crews.
When it came time to organize the harvest, it wasn’t hard to get the crews together. Neighbors were contacted by letter, and they all replied they would be there. On Thursday, they showed up from around the area with combines and tractors and grain carts and grain trucks. Young and old and in between all helped to bring the harvest in.
Dust flew as the combines made short work of the fields. Tractor drivers with grain carts unloaded on the run then headed for the grain trucks to unload before heading back for more wheat.
Brant took a ride on a combine as it made its way around that last field by the homestead, so he could be a part of the harvest, too. Although he hadn’t had time to figure out the yield, the test weights were pretty good at 62 pounds, Brant said.
At the end of the harvest, when the last of the dust had settled in the fields and the last of the grain had been poured into trucks for hauling to the elevator, the neighbors took a moment to stop their machines and visit with each other about the day.
Brant shook hands and thanked the neighbors for their help. They visited for a while then each got into their machines and headed down the road.
As the last of the equipment left, Brant considered the future of the family farm. He has four sons. He wants maintain possession of the land and give his sons the opportunity to decide if they want to take over.
But for that special afternoon, Brant was grateful was his neighbors who gave of themselves to help the family in time of need.
“Thank you for helping the Brant family. It’s hugely appreciated,” Brant said. “Thanks for helping end this chapter.”
Helping with Brant harvest were Newmann Wheatley Farms, Trey Langford and Mack Calloway from Gary Barker’s Farm, Bortz Farms, Panek Brothers, Kent Brubaker, Matt Flora family, Charles Riffey, Hirt Farms, Doug and Randy Brubaker, Brett Armstrong, Duane DeWeese and John Hamm.
Scoular Grain provided trucks to haul the wheat to the elevator.