Teen with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy gets to help with wheat harvest
July 20, 2018
Jack Knight, 18, has dreamed of being a part of the Kalcevic Farms wheat harvest crew for years. The huge fields of ripe wheat and the equipment, especially the tractor and grain cart, have been calling his name. This year, the timing of harvest was just right and he found himself exactly where he wanted to be.
Knight was diagnosed as a child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a condition more common in males, that has left him in a wheelchair. Despite this, Kalcevic said he plans to attend Colorado State University after graduation and has begun preparing to take care of himself on campus. In the fall, Knight will be a senior at Standley Lake High School and Kalcevic's daughter, Asia, will be a senior at Weld Central High School.
"Jack has wanted to come out for years and years and we're either done cutting or haven't started cutting so this year it worked out," she said. "His dad, Darrell, brought him out and we were cutting right here at the farm headquarters."
The Kalcevic family used a lift to help Knight into the tractor cab where he rode at Asia's side for a couple of hours.
While Knight and Asia cruised the field operating the tractor and grain cart, a photographer with Shelbourne was shooting footage for the header company's advertisements and was able to use a GoPro to shoot footage of Knight's day as part of the crew.
"It was such a great experience for our family to do something for him that we've wanted to do for years and a great experience for him to recognize a dream to come out to harvest and ride in the tractor," she said.
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Kalcevic Farms, based out of Bennett, Colo., with another location in Lindon, Colo., is a large, fifth-generation farming operation that grows wheat, corn, sunflowers, millet, milo, forage and cattle.
As with many farms, this year was a varied harvest for the Kalcevics. Yields on some of the fields near their Bennett headquarters were low due to the heat and only receiving 0.2 inches of rainfall. Yields were better, she said, in some of their fields in Washington County where more rain fell. The operation wrapped up wheat harvest Friday, July 20, with an appreciation dinner for their crew. ❖
— Gabel is an assistant editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She lives on a farm near Wiggins, Colo., where she and her family raise cattle and show goats.