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Our Impact

2021 Weekly Highlights

July 23, 2021 - Northbound and a New Face

"Paying it forward" is a phrase we hear a lot at Farm Rescue. Sometimes it's a volunteer whose family received support many years ago from friends and neighbors during a difficult time, and they feel called to our organization as a means of returning the favor. Other times, it's an individual donor with a personal connection to a farm family that received a helping hand from Farm Rescue, and they simply want to give something back. Most often, however, it is the farmers and ranchers who have experienced Farm Rescue assistance, firsthand, who find incredible ways of paying those deeds forward. We saw another example of that this week, as a family in Kansas who just received harvest assistance from our organization donated a load of hay to support drought-stricken ranchers in our northern service territory. To say that circumstances are dire in these dry areas would be a gross understatement. One load of hay may not seem like much, but every bale is a precious commodity for so many folks at the moment and we are extremely grateful for this generous gift. If anyone reading this has the ability to provide similar support, please contact our Field Operations Manager, Neil Simons, at 701-212-3851 or We're also in great need of monetary donations to support our ongoing Operation Hay Lift efforts, so please consider an online gift at 

In addition to trucking hay from Kansas, our staff and volunteers also loaded up our combine to make the long journey North for the fast-approaching harvest season in our upper service states. This also provided several staff members with an opportunity to meet our newest full-time hire, Lynne Hinrichsen. Lynne will serve as our Development Officer throughout Farm Rescue's southern territory. She has a long history in farming and ranching, serving with both the Kansas Department of Agriculture and USDA Rural Development. She also continues to operate an angus ranch with her husband in northeastern Kansas. We are truly excited to add her to our team!

After several weather delays, our baling crew managed to finish up their assistance efforts near Glen Ullin, ND early this week for a couple dealing with separate health issues. Despite the stop-and-go conditions, this family was extremely thankful to our volunteers for their help and we were honored to provide a hand-up to their operation. In addition to our in-field and over-the-road activities this week, our organization was also blessed to participate in "Farm Rescue Night" at the Bismarck Bucks indoor football game last Friday. Several volunteers helped sell tickets for a "share of the pot" drawing and we were overjoyed to receive more than $2,500 in support of our operations. Thank you, Bismarck Bucks, for allowing us to participate. Another huge thanks goes out to the many Farm Rescuers who jumped in to provide support on a variety of fronts this week: Levi Vangsness, Neil Simons, Sabrina Lush, Tim Sullivan, Lynne Hinrichsen, Gary Janz, Luke Benedict, Evan Benedict, Garry Deckert, Tom Atkinson, Josh Atkinson, Melissa Price, Travis Price, Jerry Grosz, Chad Focke and Mandy Focke. Your help means the world to us!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager

July 16, 2021 - Kansas Wheat Wrap

After a heavy dose of rain last week at our wheat harvest case near Rexford, KS, we knew it would be a few days before work could resume. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and our volunteers and equipment were back at it on Monday, helping a family bring in their crop as a husband/father continues his recovery from esophageal cancer surgery. Some unexpected help also arrived from a few friends and neighbors, which expedited the remaining acres for this incredible family operation. We are honored to have extended a helping hand to three Kansas families during a busy wheat harvest season and look forward to returning soon. Next week, this combine will be heading North to join the upcoming small grain harvest operations throughout our upper service territory. Unfortunately, with the ongoing drought and dry, hot weather forecasted for the next several days in the hardest hit areas of the Dakotas, there may be much fewer wheat crops to harvest this year. Nonetheless, there are still folks in need of Farm Rescue assistance and we are poised and ready to spring into action whenever the call comes in.

It's been another stop-and-go week for our volunteers near Glen Ullin, ND, as a few small shots of rain have slowed progress on baling some hay rows that remain on the ground. This assistance case is for a couple dealing with separate health issues. If the weather cooperates, our volunteers hope to wrap up work this weekend. In the meantime, several more loads of hay were hauled this week in support of Operation Hay Lift, delivering cattle feed to ranchers affected by extreme drought and wildfire. Although hay has been hard to come by, we plan to continue this campaign as long as it's needed and resources allow. 

As always, none of this work would be possible without our incredible family of do-gooders. A huge THANK YOU to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field: Garry Deckert, Vane Clayton, Lee Van Ruler, Gaylen Weisenburger and Will Rudolphi. You are a blessing to our organization and so many families in need!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager

July 9, 2021 - Keepin' On in Kansas

It's been a busy few weeks for our volunteers in the state of Kansas as the wheat harvest rages on in our southern territory. With the window of opportunity closing fast, they made some great strides for another family in western Kansas this week. Farm Rescue was honored to provide a hand-up to an incredible family operation near Rexford, KS, as a husband/father continues his battle and recovery from esophageal cancer. Just a few shorts months ago, he was undergoing intense chemotherapy treatments that kept him away from home for more than a month. In the meantime, his wife managed their cattle operation and four young daughters all on her own. He later underwent surgery to remove the problematic portion of his esophagus, but is still dealing with some issues and limitations to his eating habits and daily activities. Our volunteers got a great start, working alongside a couple friends and family members who took time off to join the effort. They had harvested just over half of the family's wheat crop when some light rain began to fall in the area. Those showers built into a downpour that dropped several inches of rain in just a few short hours. That precipitation bodes well for corn crops throughout the region, but unfortunately, it put a stop to their wheat progress for a few days.

Back up North, another volunteer crew was hard at work near Glen Ullin, ND, making hay for a husband and wife who are each dealing with some medical issues. After a positive jump on a few dozen bales, they too received a visit from Mother Nature, who decided to halt their activities with another shot of rain. With the ongoing drought, you won't find us complaining about these weather delays! Unfortunately, it's become apparent in a few of the most hard-hit areas that some crops are beyond saving at this point. Nonetheless, we are thankful for every drop of rain and pray these producers have something to combine in a few short weeks. Speaking of the drought, hay deliveries have been hard to come by, but our volunteers were able to haul a couple more loads for Operation Hay Lift this week to ranchers affected by these extreme conditions. Again, if you have a load or two of hay to spare, please contact our Field Operations Manager, Neil Simons, at 701-212-3851 or send an email to

Unsurprisingly, as we roll toward the middle of July temperatures have been consistently warm throughout much of our service area. This is one of the many reasons we must thank our amazing volunteers, who have labored throughout that heat to keep our mission moving forward. Special thanks to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field: David Frueh, Kenny Crites, Keith Barkema, Vane Clayton, Garry Deckert, Will Rudolphi, Bill Bjorneby and Levi Hurtt. You truly are the best volunteers in the world!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager

July 2, 2021 - Red Light, Green Light

After a busy start to the Kansas wheat harvest, it’s been more of a stop and go week for our volunteers as they worked to finish a few hundred acres for a farmer outside of Lindsborg, KS. His bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments have made his daily workload a challenge and we were honored to provide a hand-up to his operation. After several rain delays throughout the week, our volunteers wrapped up on Wednesday and began their journey West to Rexford, KS to assist another farmer battling cancer. With more rainfall pushing through the area, it seems they’ll be pumping the breaks again on their fieldwork. 

As the harvest rolls on in our southern territory, our staff and volunteers up North have been prepping for our haying operations. They’ll be cutting and baling near Glen Ullin, ND for a husband and wife who are both dealing with some medical issues. With the ongoing drought, there may not be much hay to cut for a lot of folks this year, but Mother Nature did provide some relief to a few areas this past week, and we pray that continues. They definitely have a long way to go! A huge thank you to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field: David Frueh, Kenny Crites, Jack Limke, Garry Deckert and Keith Barkema. You are a blessing to so many and we wish you all a wonderful Independence Day!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager

June 25, 2021 - Here Comes the Harvest

Hot on the heels of spring planting in our northern territory, our volunteers and equipment are already back in the field for the launch of harvest assistance operations in our southern states. Recent hot, dry weather quickened the timeline on the start of wheat season in Kansas, but our Angels in Blue and combine were ready to rock on a few hundred acres in McPherson County. The crew spent the early portion of the week assisting a farmer near Galva, KS who injured his back in a recent fall. They made great progress with a machine that was dialed-in and running smooth, thanks to help from the folks at PrairieLand Partners. They have been an amazing group to work with as we look to expand our assistance efforts to even more families in the Jayhawk State throughout the coming years. After wrapping up yesterday afternoon in Galva, our volunteers and equipment moved a few miles down the road to Lindsborg, KS to help a farmer battling cancer. His bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments have prevented him from shouldering his usual workload on his own, and we are truly honored to lend our support. Upon arrival, they got right to work and nearly finished the first field of wheat before the evening moisture set in. An overnight thunderstorm dumped more than a half inch of rain at the farm, but they hope a day of sunshine and wind will have them back in the field soon. 

Throughout the weeks leading up to harvest in Kansas, other volunteers have been hard at work moving equipment and vehicles to have ready for upcoming operations. Operation Hay Lift is still ongoing, but it's been nearly impossible to find any available hay. With continued widespread drought, many ranchers throughout our northern territory are hoping some semblance of a hay crop will emerge, while others have already made the decision to sell off more of their herd. It's a heartbreaking situation and we pray some relief from Mother Nature will arrive soon. 

As we roll into a busy few months ahead, we're reminded again just how lucky we are to have such an amazing family of volunteers. They've labored through some excruciatingly hot days to support our efforts and we could not be more thankful. God bless our recent Farm Rescuers in the field: David Frueh, Kenny Crites, Jack Limke, Garry Deckert, Gary Krieger, Bob Miller, Vane Clayton, Kevin Towe, Charlie Bartsch, Corey Hyde, Mari Benedict, Kirby Hamre and Emil Baranko. 

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager

May 28, 2021 - The Final Seeds

It's hard to believe that planting season has already reached its conclusion. Like any farming operation, we try our best to complete as much work as possible with the narrow windows we're given, and we're honored to have helped more than a dozen families in need throughout the past few weeks. Barring any last-minute requests for assistance, as of yesterday our dedicated volunteers seeded Farm Rescue's final acres of 2021. Crew number 1 made the journey from New Salem, ND to Cleveland, ND last weekend to begin planting wheat for a farmer battling major back issues, which have greatly limited his mobility. With extreme drought conditions across much of our northern service territory, there haven't been many rain delays for our crews this spring. Our final planting case was the exception, however, after the Cleveland area received several inches of rain in a few short days. After field conditions improved, our volunteers made quick work of a few hundred acres to ease some of the stress for this family. Earlier in the week, after a short weather delay of their own, crew number 2 wrapped up soybean planting near De Smet, SD for a farmer currently battling cancer. Crew number 3 also put the finishing touches on some corn and soybean acres near Valley City, ND for a young farmer recovering from a broken back and several ribs after a bundle of livestock panels crushed him against the ground.

It has truly been an incredible planting season for our volunteers and the amazing families they've assisted. I am always in awe of the bonds formed between these individuals during their short time together. Our volunteer crews become tight-knit units, doing whatever they can to help a family in crisis. These farmers and ranchers could not be more thankful to have that support, and I know it's never easy watching someone else work the land you love. I want to say thank you to all of our assisted families for placing your trust in us to get the job done. The added pressure of an injury, illness or natural disaster to an already-stressful line of work can be a tremendous burden. I pray the help you've received through Farm Rescue can lighten that load. 

After a busy season in the field and roading across the region, our planting equipment is ready for a little TLC before getting tucked-in for its winter slumber. We've already begun prepping our tractors and balers for the fast-approaching haying season and Operation Hay Lift will likely be ongoing throughout the summer months. If you are a rancher living in a D2 drought zone or higher or have been affected by wildfire, we hope you'll consider submitting an application for hay hauling assistance at We're also still in need of donated hay to provide a bit of relief to drought-stricken families. If you have a load or two to spare, please contact our Field Operations Manager, Neil Simons, at 701-212-3851 or send an email to

Last, but not least, I want to extend another enormous THANK YOU to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field: Jeff Preston, Brian Payne, Paul Holgate, Kenny Crites, Mike Youngblood, Chester Arnold, Matt Blaylock, Chris Batdorf, Chris Davison, Jeffrey Barnes and Vane Clayton. Each of you holds a special place in our heart and I'm honored to have you on our team.

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager

May 21, 2021 - Blessed Rain

To say it's been dry in our northern territory would be an understatement. Throughout the past few weeks, nearly all of North Dakota and portions of Montana and South Dakota have experienced worsening drought conditions, with large areas of extreme drought and in some cases, exceptional drought. Precipitation has eluded the region for months, but Mother Nature finally provided a bit of respite yesterday. Some areas received a couple inches of rainfall, while others in great need of moisture only experienced trace amounts or none at all. At this point, every drop helps and with more rain in the extended forecast, we'll continue praying for any and all accumulation throughout these drought zones. Yesterday's rain resulted in some short delays for our planting assistance crews, but they've still been making great progress for some amazing families in need. Crew number 1 is currently wrapping up work near New Salem, ND for a farmer who injured his leg in a recent fall. They'll soon be headed east to Cleveland, ND to plant some wheat for a farmer dealing with back issues that have greatly limited his mobility. Earlier in the week, crew number 2 finished planting soybeans near Ashley, ND for a family whose young son remains in the hospital after a head injury. Our volunteers have since traveled south to De Smet, SD to seed a few hundred acres of soybeans for a farmer who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Crew number 3 put the finishing touches on their corn and soybean planting near Mankato, MN last weekend, before roading our equipment to Valley City, ND. They are currently assisting a young farmer who broke his back and several ribs when a bundle of metal livestock panels fell on him. He's made incredible progress over the past 2 months, after doctors initially questioned if he'd ever regain use of his legs. He's been walking whenever possible to provide some guidance for our volunteers as they plant the family's corn and soybean crops. We feel extremely honored to assist each of these operations to provide them an opportunity to continue doing what they love. A huge THANK YOU to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field: Garry Deckert, Calvin Harms, Kenny Crites, Mike Youngblood, Larry Begyn, Ken Enstrom, Jeff Preston, Brian Payne, Paul Holgate, Mike Wilson, Steve Satterthwaite, Glenn Biederman, Chester Arnold, Matt Blaylock, Chris Batdorf, Chris Davison and Jeff Barnes. You're all incredible individuals!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager

May 14, 2021 - The Power of Three

The days seem to be flying by on this year's planting season and we still have several stops to make during 2021's assistance operations. Crew number 1 wrapped up seeding near Williston, ND earlier this week, after some much-needed rain pushed through the area. From there, they headed southeast to New Salem, ND to plant soybeans for a farmer who injured his leg in a fall. They have a few hundred acres remaining as the next shift of volunteers prepares to pick up their torch. After finishing some soybeans near Wolverton, MN, crew number 2 traveled southwest to Ashley, ND for some additional bean planting. The family they are assisting is unable to participate in much of this year's seeding work, as they're currently with their young son in the hospital as he recovers from a head injury. Several neighbors and community members have also pitched in to ensure their crops are planted in time. Last weekend, crew number 3 made the long drive east to Mankato, MN, to begin planting corn and soybeans for a farmer who recently suffered a series of strokes, following heart surgery. They're hoping to wrap up their work today and return west to Valley City, ND. 

Hay hauling assistance applications are still arriving and Operation Hay Lift has been progressing with more loads delivered this week. As in previous weeks, we're still hoping for some additional donated hay to support these ranch families in areas of drought and wildfire. If you or someone you know might have a load to contribute to the cause, please give Neil Simons a call at 701-212-3851 or send an email to

Being able to extend my appreciation for the amazing volunteers carrying out our mission is truly one of the greatest honors I have each week. They are some of the most wonderful individuals I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and I feel extremely blessed to have them in our family. A big THANK YOU to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field:  Mike Wilson, Steve Satterthwaite, Tim Moore, Glenn Biederman, Rich Thuesen, Mark Burton, Garry Deckert, Calvin Harms, Kenny Crites, Mike Youngblood, Larry Begyn, Ken Enstrom, Neil Simons and Joe Nasset. You are all heroes in my book, worthy of your own trading cards!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager

May 7, 2021 - Hitting Our Stride

It was an exciting week for our volunteers and staff as the first acres were seeded with Farm Rescue's new row crop planter. This machine is incredible, to say the least. Thanks to help from Gooseneck Implement, John Deere Seeding Group's, Brian Boelens, and our amazing volunteers and Field Ops Managers, the planter was primed and ready for its first case near Wolverton, MN. The family receiving assistance has truly been through the ringer these past few months. In addition to a recent COVID-19 diagnosis within their home, they were dealt another difficult hand in February when a cow attacked husband/father, Robert. He sustained several broken bones in the incident, including a broken back. He also underwent a recent surgery on his gallbladder. Under doctor’s orders, he is currently unable to operate equipment, which prevented him from carrying out his necessary planting work. Farm Rescue was honored to assist with the family’s corn and soybean crops. Crew number 2 joined the effort and they made quick work of a few hundred acres. Crew number 3 headed east with the planter to Mankato, MN and crew number 2 ventured west to Ashley, ND. Crew number 1 spent their week near Williston, ND, assisting a farmer who is dealing with complications from a gallbladder surgery of his own. They're nearly wrapped-up with their durum and oat planting efforts and will be moving to New Salem, ND for another assistance case. 

Operation Hay Lift is still moving forward, but we could sure use some additional donated hay to support ranch families in areas of drought and wildfire. If you or someone you know might have a load or two to spare, we'd love to talk with you! Please contact Neil Simons at 701-212-3851 or

As always, none of these efforts would be possible without our wonderful "Angels in Blue", serving as Farm Rescue's boots on the ground. They sacrifice their time and energy to provide a light to families during some of their darkest days. A big THANK YOU to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field: Mike Wilson, Steve Satterthwaite, Tom Meyer, Ron Donohue, Brian Boelens, Rich Thuesen and Mark Burton (who celebrated a birthday in the field). We cherish each and every one of you!

Until next time, 

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager

April 30, 2021 - Plenty of Windshield Time

It's been another busy week, with many miles and acres covered by our Angels in Blue. Crew number 1 finished up their wheat planting near Badger, MN for a farmer injured in a recent fall. From there, they made the long trek to Grenora, ND - about a stone's throw from the Montana border. Our volunteers were honored to plant wheat for a farmer dealing with major complications related to cancer surgery. Once their work is complete, they'll be moving on to Williston, ND to tackle more wheat for a farmer in need. Crew number 2 wrapped up their corn acres for a farmer recovering from a recent shoulder surgery. They've since joined our Field Operations Manager, Luke, to ready our new row crop planter for its maiden voyage. This unit will begin work today near Wolverton, MN for a farmer who was injured by one of his cows back in February. The severity of his injuries will prevent him from operating any machinery this spring, so our volunteers will be planting both corn and soybeans for the family.

Operation Hay Lift has also begun to take shape, with assistance applications arriving daily and coordination of trucks, volunteers and deliveries keeping our second Field Ops Manager, Neil, busier than ever. This week, the first of many loads of hay was delivered to a farm near Lemmon, SD. This family has not only been impacted by wildfire and drought, but the wife of the operation is currently battling cancer. One load of hay may seem like a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things, but even a drop can make a difference. We are still in great need of donated hay to support other families throughout these areas of severe and extreme drought, so if you or someone you know could spare a load or two, please contact Neil Simons at 701-212-3851 or

It is always an honor to thank the selfless individuals who power this greater Farm Rescue machine. Without your dedication and giving hearts, we simply could not fulfill this mission. A huge THANK YOU to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field: Brian Boelens, Ron Donohue, Tom Meyer, Mike Youngblood, Greg Kalinoski, Kenneth Chyle, Emil Baranko, Neil Simons, Luke Benedict and Andy Jewitt. God bless you all!

Until next time, 

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager

April 23, 2021 - An Early Start

It's the first week of planting season at Farm Rescue, which would normally signal the start of our yearly assistance operations. However, this year's efforts began a bit earlier than expected, so there's a lot to catch you up on...

In mid-January, a wildfire began in southwest North Dakota. Wind gusts of 50-70 mph fueled the blaze, as it continued its southerly course near Lemmon, SD. When the smoke cleared, around 20,000 acres of land had been burnt black. Nearly two dozen families were affected - suffering loss of cattle, fencing and important grazing ground. Support from folks throughout the region began to pour in and Farm Rescue also joined the relief effort. In the weeks that followed, our volunteers delivered much-needed hay and fencing supplies to many of the affected families. Unfortunately, the dry conditions that helped fuel this particular fire have worsened in many areas of our service territory. Rural fire crews have been stretched to their limits as a flurry of additional wildfires spread throughout these increasingly dry areas. A majority of North Dakota is now in severe or extreme drought zones, as well as portions of eastern Montana and western South Dakota. 

For this reason, Farm Rescue has once again launched "Operation Hay Lift" to haul crucial livestock feed to ranchers affected by these natural disasters. This campaign may last several months, so we are putting out the call for hay donations, volunteer CDL drivers and monetary gifts to help support this mission. The duration of this relief effort will be contingent upon available resources, so let us know if you can help! If you have a load or more or hay to donate, please contact our Field Operations Manager, Neil Simons, at or 701-212-3851.

Ranchers affected by wildfire or those operating in D2 (Severe Drought) zones or higher are asked to fill out applications for hay hauling assistance, which will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Ranchers facing challenges due to wildfire and those residing in D3 (Extreme Drought) zones or higher will be given priority on any available donated hay. If the volume of donated hay does not meet the need requested through submitted applications, ranchers may still qualify for hauling assistance depending on proximity to their farm. Applications for HAY HAULING ASSISTANCE can be submitted through our website -

In addition to our ongoing hay hauling efforts, Farm Rescue volunteers also began planting the first seeds of 2021 this week for a couple farmers in need. Crew number 1 is currently near Badger, MN, assisting a farmer who was injured in a fall. After sustaining injuries to his shoulder and back, he's currently limited to use of one arm. Our volunteers are honored to lend a much-needed helping hand in seeding his wheat. Crew number 2 is near Canton, SD, where another farmer is recovering from shoulder surgery. These volunteers are working hard to assist with his corn planting as he continues his recovery.

As you might imagine, none of this work simply comes together on its own. It takes a tremendous collaborative effort from staff, volunteers, sponsors and donors to bring it all to fruition. There are so many folks to thank for their help this winter and early spring, so I apologize if I forget to mention you by name. Just know that we cherish each and every one of you! Thank you to Vane Clayton, Garry Deckert, Corey Hyde, Don Knight, Kieth Worthley, Kelly Krog, Keith Bisson, Jerry Terwee, John Andrews, Greg Kalinoski, Mike Youngblood, Kenneth Chyle and Emil Baranko. And another big thanks goes out to our equipment and vehicle sponsors for providing the necessary tools and service to accomplish our mission - especially John Deere, AgriVision Equipment, Gooseneck Implement, Green Iron Equipment, Langdon Implement, Leading Edge Equipment, PrairieLand Partners, RDO Equipment Company, TrueNorth Equipment, Van Wall Equipment, Heartland Chevy Dealers, Puklich Chevrolet and Ryan Chevrolet, as well as Agassiz Seed & Supply for working with us to coordinate appropriate fencing supplies for our wildfire relief efforts near Lemmon. You are all Farm Rescuers!

Hopefully you're still with me at this point, but as I mentioned, there's a lot to catch up on! We are very excited for the year ahead (which we hope is a little less chaotic than 2020) and I look forward to providing plenty of updates along the way.

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager






Farm Rescue 2020 - Edmore, ND