I found this forum, or the old version of it when searching Google. I came across some folks who were wondering what became of the "custom harvester, who was in National Geographic" (back in August 1972).
Well, I think I can help! My name is Mikel Louder, son of Max Louder. If you've read the article, you'd remember me as a 5 year old "Lilliputian Drill Sargent" as described by writer Noel Grove.
The article "North with the Wheat Cutters" followed my dad/Max (harvest crew and family) on our annual harvest path from Texas to Montana. Writer Noel Grove and photographer Jim Sugar (from National Geographic) traveled with us in 1971 harvest season.
When the article came out in August of '72, we had moved to Pasco Washington and Max/dad started harvesting on irrigated farms in Washington, Oregon, Arizona and California.
Max/dad went on to run combines for another 20 plus years out west, retiring from the harvest run in 1995. He helped his former customers find custom cutters in 1996 & 1997 and officially retired in 1997.
He passed away at the age of 82 in July of 2007 and was posthumously inducted into the Custom Harvesters Hall of Fame in March 2008. U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc. - Hall of Fame
My mother and I traveled to Texas and accepted on his behalf. The ceremony was attended by family, friends, former crew and a former customer (farmer).
It was rather ironic that the ceremony was in Wichita Falls (Texas), as for 20 plus years, dad had started his annual harvest run just down the road in Munday Texas. Kenneth Baker, who's father was one of my dad's customers in Munday for many years attended the ceremony as well.
If you'd like to see photos, read more about Max/dad , his accomplishments after National Geographic, and his 50 years as a Custom Harvester, please visit the tribute page on my website at: ML Harvesting - A Tribute to Max Louder
Of course if you have questions, feel free to ask. Although I was very young back during the National Geographic years, my mother is still living and she can answer questions that I can't. and I can cover the questions after we moved west and I was old enough to work for my dad.
Mikel M. Louder
Mikel M. Louder Photography, Freelance Commercial Photographer