For decades, custom harvesters have played a vital role in North American agriculture. Starting in May of each year, custom harvesters begin their travels, following wheat and small grain harvests from south to north. As harvesting professionals, they’re tasked with helping growers harvest their crops in a timely manner, assembling hard-working crews, owning and operating equipment, and understanding their machines.
As one of the founding members of the U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc. (USCHI), Case IH has supported and sponsored this group, along with the Canadian Custom Harvesters, for over 35 years. Read on to learn how Case IH has partnered with USCHI from the early days of the association to today:
Annual Custom Harvester Kickoff Breakfast
Each year, before custom harvesters take to the highway and head to their first harvest, crews gather for the annual Case IH Pro-Harvest Kickoff, which has been sponsored by Case IH for over 25 years. Partnering with organizations such as the Great Plains Technology Center, local community colleges and FFA chapters, the event is an opportunity to gather custom harvesters and crews together for a delicious and hearty breakfast, conduct safety training, discuss new rules and regulations, perform combine walk-arounds and share maintenance tips.
“It’s like one big family at these events. You see a lot of people you recognize and start to be great friends with them,” says Kelly Kravig, harvesting marketing manager at Case IH. Kelly has been involved with USCHI for over 25 years and serves on the association’s executive advisory council.
With many crew members being new to the job each year, safety training takes top priority at these events.
“We do safety demonstrations, teaching everything from hand signals that everyone understands to how to hook up a header, in order to reduce risk,” Kelly says.
Pro-Harvest Support Team Keeps Custom Cutters Up and Running
For more than 35 harvest seasons, Case IH has dispatched two Pro-Harvest support teams — backed by seasoned pros and stocked with thousands of genuine Case IH parts — to follow the custom harvesters’ route and address their equipment needs on the spot.
“Case IH was the first equipment manufacturer to organize a team like this — and it’s been instrumental to ensuring custom harvesters start off on the right foot, and keep running,” Kelly says.
The Pro-Harvest support teams allow operators to get in and out of the field faster, and it’s a comfort to custom harvesters to know that these teams are only a phone call away. Plus, Case IH is one of the top manufacturers that offers in-field harvest support to this scale, leading in manpower, support and the number of available parts.
The Pro-Harvest support teams play a vital role in supporting custom harvesters with parts and technical support throughout the harvest season — with two fully stocked semi parts trailers and support members who are just a phone call away.
For more information about Pro-Harvest support, contact your Case IH Pro-Harvest dealer. You’ll find them throughout the wheat run.