92-year-old mans the combine, leading four generations in the field

We were thrilled last fall when one of Waypoint Bank – Cozad’s long-time customers, 92-year-old Craig Worrell, was featured on NTV’s Grow. Reporter Steve White interviewed Craig, Betty (his wife of 73 years who still cooks and delivers lunch to the harvest crew), and members of the Worrell family. Craig says the combine is as comfy as his living room.

Four generations unite: 92-year-old farmer completes 70th harvest with family on Nebraska farm

By Steve White, NTV Grow reporter

COZAD, Neb. — From 2 to 92, you’ll find a 90-year age gap on one central Nebraska farm as four generations come together during harvest.

Craig Worrell has walked wind-swept plains alongside horses. Now John Deere supplies the horsepower, and he makes it go. “GPS, I don’t have to steer,” he said. “Just amazing.”

He downplays his role, but he’s been a part of harvests on this same ground south of Cozad for more than 70 years. “I was pretty young driving tractors and horses, and a couple of years I was in the service wasn’t home then but haven’t missed a harvest since I got out in ’54,” he said.

Seventy harvests later, another year comes to a close as they finish the final cornfield, and at 92, Craig wouldn’t miss it. “Have a reason to get up every morning, move and do something,” he said.

90-year age span between family farmers

On the other end of the spectrum, Craig’s great-grandson joined Evan Worrell for some daddy daycare on the tractor this week.

“There’s a 90-year difference between my grandpa and my youngest kid, pretty crazy,” said Evan. Grandson Evan drives the grain cart until 5, when Craig calls it a day, and then Evan takes over combine duties. Craig’s sons, Jeff and Dennis, drive trucks and do much of the farming.

All in the family

Craig said, “It’s a family affair.” And that includes the gals, as a silver sedan means grandma Betty’s bringing burgers.

“My grandma brings lunch every day for harvest; very fortunate,” Evan said. “It’s kind of like if you’re deer hunting and you’re in the blind. Tastes a lot better out there. Same thing with her burgers. Can’t get any better.”

As the sun reaches its peak at noon, Betty Worrell pulls in with a cooler of goodies. “Part-time bookkeeper and lunch lady,” she says with a laugh. “I grill hamburgers and bake cookies.” Snickerdoodles are a hit, and she bakes them fresh.

Worrells have been married and partners for 73 years

For more than 70 years, Craig and Betty have been partners in all they do, as Craig calls Betty his rock. Their birthdays are just three weeks apart, a fact that Betty reminds her husband of. “She’s 22 days older than I am, so she bosses me for 22 days. Unbearable around my house,” Craig says with a smile. “Seventy-three years we’ve been married. Twenty-two days older than he,” Betty responds.

They met in college and made a life with their four kids, some of whom are now retired, but Craig keeps going. “Very blessed we’ve stuck together, four great kids – been a good life – just like every farmer, you have bad years, good years, hail, breakdowns, always have unexpected things that’s life,” Craig says of his philosophy.

Craig says the boys do the hard farm work. He says the combine is as comfy as his living room. And he hopes they’ll have him back. “As long as I don’t foul up too bad,” he said with a smile.


  • Craig Worell enjoys the high-tech 21-century tractor that’s “as comfy as my living room.” Photo Credit Steve White/NTV News
  • 92-year-old Craig Worrell takes a short break in front of the combine as he completed his 70th harvest on the family farm south of Cozad.  

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