5 IL Farmers Share Harvest Memories

Tara Desmond

Sep 28, 2023  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  ICMB

Randy and Suzie celebrating 2 year anniversaryMy best harvest memory happened one night on Halloween. I had just gotten home from picking corn when there was a knock on my door. It was not your usual trick or treaters, but my friend, Tom, with four girls dressed in costumes. Since I didn’t have any candy, I invited them in for a drink. The one dressed as a scarecrow, Suzie, made quite an impression. Not only was Suzie cute, but she left real straw from her costume all over my house.  

Later when I asked Suzie out, she said she was really busy as she worked two jobs and wasn’t sure of her schedule. I replied, “You surely are free Thanksgiving night.” She was and so we went to see the Indiana Jones movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” that night. 


Not many people have their future wife show up on their doorstep! Suzie and I have now been married 36 years and have two children and three grandchildren. 


Randy DeSutter - Woodhull, IL


One unforgettable day, our combine took an unexpected plunge, burying its front end deep into a coyote den. The sight was both comical and perplexing, a stark reminder of the unexpected challenges that farming life can bring. Thankfully no one was hurt and it took a broken chain and a 4 wheel tractor to get it out.


Julie Bickelhaupt - Mount Carroll, IL


Kents photo of antlers on combine

About 5 years ago, I got to the end of the field and got out to check on some corn that was stuck on the corn head snout.  When I checked out the combine, I was surprised to see there were antlers from a buck that somehow landed directly forward.  My son and I laughed about it.  Those antlers are still saved in our garage!


Kent Kleinschmidt – Emden, IL


Gophers got into bean fields and there were tons of bare spots on my farm that I marked with flags. To cover the ground and keep the weeds from coming in, I planted pumpkins and gourds.


Thought this would be good for grandkids and weeds and turned out to be something fun. I ended up in with a truck full to give them away. This became very popular with the neighborhood and I did it for a 5 years.  This is the first year in 5 years that I haven’t and it was because there were no bare spots in the bean fields and people in the community  have been asking about them constantly!


Lou Lamoreux - Lanark, IL

They say to never plan for a fall wedding if you’re marrying a farmer. We ignored that advice and doubled down by also having two of our four children as fall babies! In fact, only one of our four children was born in the “off-season” (if such a thing exists) of the dead of winter. Baby #3 was born on Sept 29th and baby #4 came on Oct 2nd.


While there is never an ideal time for a new baby, each one is a blessing and it’s an even bigger blessing being able to see them excited about harvest starting and spending time with dad or papa in the cab and knowing those nights usually involve mom saying yes to a lot more chips and snacks!    


Megan Dwyer - Coal Valley, IL