Unsung Harvest Heroes


Unsung Harvest Heroes

by Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Fall is a joyful and stressful time for farmers as they work to harvest their fields, market their grain and keep their business thriving. There are many long days and even longer nights, many missed events with friends and family members, many sacrifices made. Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and I recognize all that goes into feeding the world and we thank farmers for growing the crops to keep us fed, clothed, and driving down the road.

But, among the 56,000 farmers that grow and harvest the crops, there are many, many others whom it would not be possible to feed the world without, as well.

We can’t forget to thank the families. They make many sacrifices, have many long nights, may miss some important events, like football games, volleyball games or a dance recital. They too have one of the most crucial jobs during harvest – the supporter. From running errands in town for parts to delivering meals to the field, farm families are always there to ensure the work is being done. The sacrifices made by farming families are enormous and I thank them for their hard work.

Fall is also one of the busiest times for grain elevators and processors. They often work weekends and late nights trying to store and ship millions of bushels of grains for months on end. Inevitably, something will break and it will happen on a chilly October night. There will be a long line of trucks waiting to dump and it will be the elevator heroes saving the day. They’ll fix the part, go home late, only to wake up early and do it all over again.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the many seed, input dealers and loan officers that spend extra time in the fall driving to customers, checking farms and assisting where they can. I know a lot of them help others in addition to harvesting their own crops.

Last, but certainly not least, one of the most important careers of harvest – mechanics and service truck drivers. When Hoosiers are in a pinch these technicians are there, ready to lay on the bean stubble or hard corn stalks to fix whatever problem is delaying a farmer’s day. They too miss those irreplaceable family events to keep the industry moving – and their roles are so crucial.

From evening meal deliveries, grain processors, sales reps, banking officers, equipment dealerships, mechanics and everything in between, our farmers couldn’t feed the world without these unsung harvest heroes. Hoosiers in these professions are incredibly vital to the agriculture industry, and I wanted to ensure each of them are recognized as well.

Agriculture is such a huge industry in our great state and it is due to the exceptional teamwork of countless Hoosiers. So, to everyone in agriculture, in any way you are involved, please make it a safe and happy harvest.

– Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture