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Previous Yearly Highlights

2009 Weekly Highlights

Weekly Highlights

Week of November 15, 2009: Harvest 2009 is finally finished! Thank you volunteers and sponsors for another successful season at Farm Rescue. We ended the year having helped 34 farm families, which brings our total to 101 since inception.

With the combines returned to RDO Equipment Co. last week, we are now setting our sights on spring planting. Applications for assistance will be accepted from January 1 thru March 15. If you know of a farm family that will need assistance planting their crop this spring, please contact our office at 701-252-2017.

Weekly Highlights

Week of November 8, 2009: Farm Rescue reached an organizational milestone on Nov. 8 by completing harvest for our 100th farm family! Charles B., Gene, Charlie H., Clarence, Tom, Bill K. and Jerry K. took turns operating combines last week Tuesday thru Sunday to bring in the crop for a young farm family at Ypsilanti.

Founder Bill Gross was in the field on Thursday (Nov. 5). "This is a testament to what can happen when an avenue is created that brings people and businesses together to help others in a time of crisis," he said of our milestone. "It is truly inspiring that so many people have come to rally behind Farm Rescue."

Thank you to all our volunteers and sponsors for making this achievement a reality!

Walter and Clarence also moved our equipment to Colfax on Saturday. Charlie H., Jerry K. and Ordean are combining soybeans there for a farmer who has a brain tumor. With just one more case to go in Minnesota, our Men in Blue are close to completing the 2009 harvest season!

Weekly Highlights
Weekly Highlights

Week of November 1, 2009: Farm Rescue volunteers moved equipment from Lisbon to Ypsilanti on Saturday in hope of getting in the field today (Monday). While Charlie H. and Clarence worked the fields last week in Lisbon between rain showers, Charles B., Gene and Warren harvested in Pingree for a farmer who was in a coma after complications from gastric bypass surgery.

With just 70 acres of soybeans left to harvest today at Pingree, Charles B., Gene and Clarence will soon be joining forces at Ypsilanti with Charlie H. and Bill K. Our crew will be harvesting there for a young farmer who broke his pelvis and injured his knee after being pinned between his tractor and pickup truck.

It looks like warmer weather at last with no precipitation for a few days! Who would have ever thought we would be harvesting soybeans in November?

Weekly Highlights

Week of October 25, 2009: Jack and Clarence put in a valiant effort last week Friday in Lisbon, knocking down another 80 acres of soybeans before the rains came on Saturday.

Soggy fields and continued precipitation make this year's soybean harvest one of the most challenging in recent history in our region. As we struggle to finish our remaining cases this year, we give a BIG THANK YOU to the following volunteers for their tireless efforts, amazing compassion and commitment to Farm Rescue: Bill, Charles, Charlie, Clarence, Gene, Jack, Lowell, Smokey and Warren.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to RDO Equipment Co. for their generosity in allowing Farm Rescue to use their combines for a period longer than anticipated due to the inclement weather. The company's unwavering support of Farm Rescue and farm families is a blessing!

Weekly Highlights

Week of October 18, 2009: A brief respite from the rain allowed Charlie H. and Clarence to bring in a few soybean acres at Lisbon on Monday. With a soggy Tuesday and sunshine forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, hopes are high to get back in the field on Friday!

Weekly Highlights

Week of October 11, 2009: Days of wet weather and now snow have put a very large wrench into harvest operations at Farm Rescue! Smokey and Glenn are moving equipment today to Lisbon, ND. They hope to harvest soybeans this week for a farmer who is battling bone cancer. If possible, Charles B. and our team of volunteers will start harvesting at Pingree sometime this week as well. Pray for sunshine!

Weekly Highlights

Week of October 4, 2009: Our volunteers are in a holding pattern for now, waiting for suitable weather to start the soybean harvest.

In the meantime, reserve your tickets for the Farm Rescue annual banquet if you haven't already done so! November 20. Jamestown College campus. Limited seating. Chance to win an Alaska Adventure Trip (an in-kind donation of services to Farm Rescue)! Click on "BANQUET" at the bottom right hand corner of this page to purchase your tickets NOW.

Week of September 27, 2009: Volunteers moved combines to central and eastern North Dakota in preparation for the soybean harvest. Farm Rescue intends to harvest for eight more farm families yet this fall. Our Men in Blue tuck their angel wings in when they put their Farm Rescue shirts on in the morning!

Weekly Highlights

Week of September 20, 2009: Our volunteers are getting some much needed rest this week before the soybean harvest begins. Smokey finished the harvest in western North Dakota last Friday, while Lowell, Warren and Bill K. finished up at Wing. They spent long, dusty days in the field under very hot conditions, but say they are no worse for the wear.

This week, too, volunteers will be getting our John Deere equipment calibrated for the soybean harvest. Farm Rescue is blessed to have capable volunteers turning the wheels of our organization!

Weekly Highlights

Week of September 13, 2009: Blue skies, hot days. The smell of harvest is in the air! And our Men in Blue are combining in high gear at Wing and Watford City. The wheat crops are coming off the fields in good shape... machinery is running smooth.

By week's end, the last of Farm Rescue's wheat harvest will be close to complete. Our volunteers will get a few week's rest before the soybean harvest begins for farm families at Pingree, Niagara, Ypsilanti and Tea, SD.

It is the lunch in the field time of year... something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime!

Week of September 6, 2009: Our volunteers are harvesting durum this week at Keene, beneath scenic buttes, for a farmer who is learning to walk again. (Photo at left by Carole Freed.) The farmer suffered major injuries in a horseback riding accident and is on the mend.

Charles B. and company are currently set up to harvest at Wing for a farmer with kidney cancer. High moisture content in the wheat and forecast rains have put a damper on field progress, but our volunteers are poised to jump in the combine as soon as conditions allow.

Our Men in Blue made great time in the fields last week, harvesting 900 acres of wheat at Mercer. They also cut down the wheat crop at Westhope for a farmer dealing with colon cancer.

Jack Combining Photo

Week of August 30, 2009: The Limkes and Smokey finished harvesting in a field near the South Dakota border on Aug. 27. Our volunteers' patience is golden and their fortitude strong, especially for a harvest that began Aug. 11 on this farm.

The Limkes, Smokey and Lowell then moved equipment to Linton last week Friday. They began harvesting wheat that was actually planted this spring by Farm Rescue volunteers for a farmer who suffered severe flooding on his land. The team plans to transport equipment north from Linton to Westhope either tomorrow afternoon or early Wednesday morning.

Charles B., Warren, Gene, and Bill K. finished the wheat crop harvest for a family near Minot on Aug. 26. Reporters from KXMC-TV and the Minot Daily News also paid our Men in Blue a visit in the field. Our Warren is quite the quote master; we've never heard volunteering for Farm Rescue likened to a wet suit before!

Last week Thursday, the crew headed to McClusky where they harvested for a farmer who is recovering from open heart surgery. Wayne and Ryan helped in McClusky before heading home to Kansas on Friday. Thanks, Jayhawks!

Presently, volunteers are harvesting in a field near Mercer for a farmer with heart trouble. Another trip to the McClusky area will be in short order once more grain has ripened in the field.

Weekly Highlights Photo

Week of August 23, 2009: Farm Rescue volunteers worked in force on Sunday and Monday to bring the crop in at Zeeland. Three combines were rolling in the fields thanks to Lowell, Smokey, Jack and Genita Limke and daughters from the Bluegrass State of Kentucky, and volunteers Wayne and Ryan (a father and son duo from Kansas). Our out-of-state volunteers never cease to amaze us! They are giving souls who pay their own way to travel great distances to help families in need. Farm Rescue couldn't do it without you!

Our volunteers are also great on-the-ground problem solvers. Late Monday afternoon, a front tire blew on one of our combines. So the Limke family is making a quick long-distance trip to Milbank, SD, to pick up a new tire today (Tuesday) and hopefully get harvest back on schedule by tomorrow.

Smokey and Lowell are headed north as well today in Farm Rescue's semi-truck. They are transporting a combine so volunteers can start harvesting wheat for a farm family near Minot. The family may or may not be home as their young daughter is undergoing major surgery at the Mayo Clinic. God's speed to all our volunteers in blue!


Week of August 16, 2009: Farm Rescue volunteers hope to be back in the field at Zeeland by Thursday at the latest, barring any more rain showers. PLEASE REPEAT THIS: Rain, rain, go away; come back another day!

Week of August 9, 2009: The 2009 harvest season started with a bang on Tuesday in Zeeland and then stopped abruptly for Team ND. Rain and a partially ripened wheat crop sent our volunteers (Charles B. and Lowell) home Thursday morning with less than half the crop harvested. The farmer our volunteers are assisting is recuperating from major surgery due to stomach cancer. What would really make him feel better is more crop in the bin!

Week of June 7, 2009: With the crop planted last week in Egeland-Starkweather for a farmer recovering from quadruple heart bypass surgery, Team ND finished Farm Rescue's 2009 planting season on June 4.

On Tuesday, volunteers cleaned up the ND planting unit - tractor, air seeder and air cart - and returned the John Deere equipment to RDO Equipment Co. in Washburn.

In total, 22 farm families in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota were assisted this spring by Farm Rescue. Yea! Throw the confetti!!

Back of Unit

Week of May 31, 2009: Team ND had to wait out the weather longer than expected at Egeland-Starkweather. But by Thursday, Charles B. and Bill K. will have the wheat crop in for a farmer recovering from open heart surgery. It looks as if the wings of the ND planter will be folded up early next week and spring's work done!

Yesterday evening (May 31), Smokey and Dave S. shut the equipment down at Northwood, having finished planting beans for a farmer who suffered multiple injuries after falling through the second-story floor of his barn while feeding sheep. The farmer fell 15 feet onto a concrete floor. He broke four ribs, fractured vertebrae in his neck, and had brain and heart trauma. We get lulled sometimes into forgetting how dangerous an occupation farming can be, even everyday chores.

On Friday, Dave S. and Clarence will spend time cleaning up the SD/MN air seeder before it is returned to RDO Equipment Co. in Breckenridge. Many acres were planted with this unit; some 13 farms in South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota. Great job, Men in Blue!

Bird's Eye View

Week of May 25, 2009: Scattered showers gave Team ND a much needed break through Memorial Day weekend. Last week Thursday and Friday (May 21-22), they planted a wide swath of assistance in addition to moving equipment north of I-94. Lowell and Clarence assisted a Grand Rapids area farmer who is dealing with a tumor on his kidney and a farmer from Kensal who is recovering from triple bypass heart surgery. This week Saturday, Bill K. and Charles B. will navigate the planter through fields at Egeland and Starkweather for a farmer that also is recovering from heart bypass surgery (quadruple).

After trekking to northern Minnesota in John Deere green, Team SD spent a good part of last week at Trail, planting soybeans for a young farmer that is dealing with lung cancer. They then headed west to Climax, where Smokey flew solo through Sunday (May 24) to finish planting soybeans for a farmer with stomach cancer.

Taking a few days off from the tractor seat, Smokey and Dave will head north to Climax on Thursday, load up the equipment and travel west to Northwood for what might be the last spring planting case in North Dakota.

Whew! Farm Rescue volunteers are a tireless and selfless bunch... and sometimes they even have fun with a power washer!

Power Washer

Week of May 18, 2009: Our volunteers finished in the fields last week Tuesday (May 12) at Linton and headed toward Wishek to assist a farmer with multiple health problems. Another rain delay kept them from sowing on Wednesday, but they hopscotched around on Thursday and were done by Friday. Way to go Gene, Warren, Bill K. and Lowell!

Saturday, Sunday and Monday found Charles B. and Dave in Hague, where they planted for a farmer that is undergoing heart surgery. They made great time keeping the planter moving, knocking off 625 acres in just two days.

While at Hague, Dave swung into the local watering hole for a quick bite to eat and was greeted with a standing ovation! It could be his rugged good looks that prompted the outburst or the Farm Rescue cap and jacket he was wearing. Either way, the locals are thankful for Farm Rescue helping one of their own.

So if you haven't already, check out the Farm Rescue caps, shirts and blankets available for purchase (go to "Get Involved" and click on "Shop"). Who knows what kind of reaction you'll get wearing Farm Rescue attire?

Team ND is hoping for hot dry weather over the next couple of days to allow them to get in the fields at LaMoure by Thursday. Take a rest for now guys...

Planting by Morris

Team MN continues to be Sleepless in Minnesota! Thanks to a great team effort from Bill Gross, Smokey, Randy, Bill and Dick, the Men in Blue planted 900 acres in less than two days last week at Bellingham and Hancock. That's 45 hours in the tractor seat... planting through the night two nights in a row!

Early Sunday afternoon (May 17), the team finished planting the crop for a farmer whose wife is undergoing treatment for liver cancer. They then packed up the equipment and traveled 20 miles northwest to Starbuck to plant for a couple recuperating from open heart surgery (he) and a stroke (she).

With about four hours left of planting at Starbuck, Bill Gross shut the tractor down Sunday evening and took the Men in Blue out for a much deserved dinner.

Charlie H. arrived today (May 18) to relieve the guys and will finish planting the soybean crop for this family. Then it is a road trip north to Trail to assist a farmer with lung cancer. Be sure to click on the links below to hear farm families talk about their experience with Farm Rescue!

Loading Timber

Week of May 11, 2009: The rains have come again and our North Dakota crew is in a holding pattern for now at Linton. David and Lowell kept the tractor going until midnight (Monday) before they had to shut it down with about 100 acres left to seed.

The family Farm Rescue is assisting at Linton suffered severe overland flooding this spring. After an ice jam broke on nearby Beaver Creek, a torrent of water and huge shards of ice ravaged their property, buildings, equipment and fences, in addition to killing half their beef cow herd.

Farm Rescue volunteers began planting about 700 acres of wheat for the family on Saturday (May 9), while employees of Aetna, Basin Electric and KEM Electric cleared debris from 200 acres of cropland and rangeland.

Go to our media coverage page in "News & Events" and click on May 9 video clips from KFYR and KXMB to see our volunteers in action. And be sure to click on the link below to hear farmer and sponsor testimonials!

Cab View of RDO Logo

Team SD continues to leave planted fields in their wake! Bill Gross climbed off the tractor at 3:45 a.m. this morning (May 12) at Bristol, where our volunteers are assisting a farmer that underwent kidney and pacemaker surgery. When the equipment stops rolling, our new volunteers from Kentucky (David and Susan L.) are Johnnies-on-the-spot with the grease gun as well as other on-the-ground chores. Go, Wildcats!

The equipment will be loaded up today and moved to Bellingham, MN. Team SD will officially become Team MN sometime later this afternoon!

Also joining Bill and Smokey at Bellingham are three seasoned volunteers (and family members) from Pennsylvania - Randy, Bill and Dick. This is the second year in a row that the Weavers have traveled to the region to assist Farm Rescue!

Brookings Tower

Week of May 4, 2009: Our volunteers are now in the fields, dodging rain showers, in one of the wettest springs on record!

But the crop is in the ground at Hebron, where Gene, Warren, Bill K., Lowell and Charles spent four days planting spring wheat. They put the last 100 acres in the ground on Tuesday afternoon. After a good home-cooked meal from the family they assisted (the husband had open heart surgery), the crew headed to Flasher.

On Wednesday, Team ND sowed wheat near Flasher/Raleigh for a farmer that needed a pacemaker and then moved equipment to Mandan. Planting is now underway (May 7) north of that city for a rancher that had his hand crushed in an accident. Three fingers were amputated and another severely damaged.

Then tonight, it will be Home Sweet Home for our volunteers as they sleep in their own beds before heading to Linton on Friday.

Go to our media coverage page in "News & Events" and click on "Farm Rescue Spring Planting" to view a story on the Hebron family... and be sure to click on the links below to see our Men in Blue in action!

Planting - Voths

Meanwhile in South Dakota... Bill Gross, Smokey, Chad and Jerry A. have five farms under their belt thanks to help from Jerry K. They now continue to push northward. Great job, Men in Blue!

They finished planting soybeans near Howard on Wednesday for a young farmer that is undergoing back surgery. And today (May 7), they are in Brookings planting soybeans for a gentle gent that has faced more than his fair share of health problems, including losing an arm in a farm accident years ago. On Friday, Team SD will be in Clear Lake, helping a farmer who underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery.

Go to our media coverage page in "News & Events" and click on "Injured Farmers Getting Help Planting Crops" to view a story on one of three farmers Farm Rescue assisted at Alcester... and be sure to click on the links below!






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