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Previous Yearly Highlights

2013 Weekly Highlights

Week of November 18, 2013: "We Are the Champions"

Volunteers Gary Keller (Fargo, ND) and Dan Feige (Wentworth, SD) continue combing in Morristown, SD, for a farmer who has West Nile. They have good weather all week and finish combining on Thursday. Garry Deckert (Bismarck, ND) joins them on Friday to load up the combine, and then they return the equipment to RDO Equipment Company.

Thank you to everybody that made this harvest season possible: the volunteers that operated and helped move equipment, the families that allowed Farm Rescue to help them, the sponsors that generously supported Farm Rescue, and the supporters that helped us raise awareness. We could not do it without you. Farm Rescue helped their 250th farm family since 2006, and it is only because of your support. Saying 'thank you' will never be enough, but from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Thank you for your support, your encouragement, and your love of the family farmer.

Week of November 11, 2013: "That's My Kind Of Mine"

Volunteers Garry Deckert (Bismarck, ND) and Jay Schepp (Bismarck, ND) move the combine and corn header from Timber Lake, SD to Sawyer, ND, to harvest for a farmer with leukemia. Charlie Bartsch (Minot, ND) prepares for the case by cutting a sample and ensuring that equipment is ready to go before Gene Spichke (Balfour, ND) and Bill Krumwiede (Voltaire, ND) start harvesting. They finish the case late in the week.

Volunteer Don Carey (Sterling, CO) arrives in Morristown, while Don Gilberg (Caro, MI) returns home. Corn is still too wet to harvest after the weekend rain, but spirits remain high as Bill Weaver (Knox, PA) arrives.

Week of November 4, 2013: "All Kinds of Kinds"

Volunteers Mahlon Stoltzfus (Gordonville, PA), Kenneth Chyle (Auburn, KY), and Don Gilberg (Caro, MI) arrived in Morristown, SD, to help a farmer with West Nile. The wet fields slowed operations for the first few days. Mahlon, Kenneth, and Don make steady progress throughout week, but are stopped by rain on Friday afternoon.

Mahlon met up with volunteer Jeff Larson (Minneapolis, MN) early in the week to transport equipment to Timber Lake, SD to harvest for a farmer with back surgery complications. Volunteers Gene Spichke (Balfour, ND), Warren Zakopyko (Balfour, ND), and Charlie Bartsch (Minot, ND) brought two pickups to the case for the volunteers to use, and then returned to Bismarck. Jeff and Faron harvested 100 acres of corn, only to find out that it was too wet for the elevator to accept. Jeff leaves midweek and Brian Matzke (Buffalo, MN) arrived to take his place for a few days. They finish harvesting on Thursday, and Faron heads to Morristown.

Week of October 28, 2013: "Hard Workin' Man"

Harvest wraps up in Butler, SD, where Faron and volunteer Dale Lamphere (Canajoharie, NY) were harvesting for a farmer who is recovering from back surgery. Dale then headed to Medina. Volunteers Maurice Schimek (Easton, MN) and Jack Maxwell (Sterling, CO) arrived early in the week to help them move equipment to Edgeley, ND to harvest for for a family recovering from a house fire, while JR heads to Medina, ND to help harvest with Kenneth Chyle (Auburn, KY). Volunteer Scott Kuznicki (Sioux Falls, SD) join the team mid-week to help with hauling grain. Maurice, Jack, and Scott head home late in the week.

Volunteers JR and Kenneth Chyle start and finish harvesting for a Medina, ND, farmer who is recovering from brain surgery. They finish on Monday and with help from Maurice and Jack, they move the equipment to Morristown, SD, in preparation to help a farmer with West Nile virus.

To everybody that was able to attend the Farm Rescue Banquet last week: thank you. Without you, the sponsors, the volunteers, the farm families, the media, and those who help raise awareness, Farm Rescue would still be just a dream, not a nonprofit that is on track to help their 250th farm family. We hope that you enjoyed your evening last Friday, and we hope to see you next year!

Week of October 21, 2013: "I'm From The Country"

Volunteers Levi & Carol Wielenga (Sioux City, IA) harvested in Bronson, IA, for a farmer whose farm had been destroyed by a tornado. Jason Brown and his manager, Kandace Sage, also got in on the harvesting. They got rained out early in the week and worked with Jim Wahl (Fulton, SD) and Charlie Hardie (Wahpeton, ND) to move equipment to Butler, SD, to harvest for a farmer who is recovering from back surgery. Levi, Carol, & Jim head home, and Faron and Dale Lamphere (Albany, NY) join Charlie and haul grain.

Volunteers JR (Peachtree, GA), Andy Wittenburg (Seal Rock, OR), and Dale Lamphere worked on equipment while waiting for soybeans to dry. Dale heads to Butler, SD, later in the week to help Faron & Charlie.

Week of October 14, 2013: "Rain Rain Go Away"

Faron and volunteers Levi & Carol, Bob Stoltman (Little Falls, MN), and John Robertson (Farmington, IA) harvested what they could at Royal, IA, case to help a farmer recovering from open heart surgery. Unfortunately, it was too wet to harvest more than a little, so they moved the equipment to Bronson, IA, to help a farmer whose farm was destroyed by a tornado.

Widespread rain and low temperatures across the upper Midwest delay all Farm Rescue harvest operations throughout the week.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who, despite the gloomy weather, have managed to keep cheery attitudes and smiles; they may just dry out the crops if they keep being so happy and positive!

Week of October 7, 2013: "One Rainy Wish"

Volunteer JR got rained out over the weekend and was acres away from finishing on Wednesday when the combine needed a belt replaced. Rain late in the week further delayed harvesting progress.

Volunteer Levi Wielenga moved the combine down to Spencer, IA, on Monday, to help a farmer whose son had been in a silage accident. Faron joined him on Tuesday to start harvesting. Carol and volunteer John Robertson, from Farmington, IA, joined the team on Wednesday. The team finishes harvesting on Thursday afternoon and moves the equipment to Royal, IA, to help a farmer recovering from open heart surgery.

On Wednesday, volunteers Frank Shaler, from Boyne City, MI, and Clarence Kuss, from Jamestown, ND, moved one semi to Enderlin, ND, to help a farmer with cancer. They then moved another semi to Edgeley, ND, in preparation of helping a farmer recovering from a shoulder injury. On Friday, Frank and Clarence dropped a pickup off at the Fargo airport for John Wiebener, from Edgewood, NM, and Andy Wittenburg, from Seal Rock, OR, who will arrive on Sunday.

Week of September 30, 2013: "Days of Gold"

Volunteer JR, from Georgia, arrived in Oakes, ND, to start combining for a farmer recovering from a farm accident. Volunteer Joe Dethlefsen, from Oakes, joins him on Tuesday to operate the grain cart, while volunteer Clarence Kuss, from Jamestown, helps with the grain cart on Wednesday. Rain on Thursday and Friday delays operations, but JR hopes to finish harvesting on Monday with the help of Dwayne Diers of Minnesota.

Volunteers Roy Shreffler, from Pennsylvania, and Ken Shaffer, from Illinois, headed home as it was too wet to combine over the weekend. Levi and Carol got a few days of combining in at Tioga during the first part of the week, and are joined by volunteers Mike and Judy McClure of Idaho. Levi, Carol, Mike, and Judy move the combine to the Washburn RDO for service, and move the semi and RV to Bismarck. Carol drives the Walmart truck to USD Vermillion, where it will be driven by volunteer Ted Smith, from South Dakota, in the Dakota Days parade!

Week of September 23, 2013: "Here Comes The Rain Again"

The Farm Rescue team was able to get harvesting in this week in Tioga for a farmer recovering from open-heart bypass surgery. Monday brought operations-halting rain, but combining was able to resume on Tuesday afternoon and went long into the night. Wednesday was a very productive day for volunteers Ken Schaffer, Roy Schreffler, and Mike Melaas, but another night of rain prevented combining on Thursday and Friday. Mike headed home, while Ken and Roy were hoping for dry weather to combine Saturday and Sunday.

Volunteers Levi and Carol Wielenga drove to Jamestown to move the combine from there to Oakes to help a farmer who is recovering from a farm accident. Volunteer Jack Rutledge joined them on Sunday to help with the case.

Despite the rain, Farm Rescue is very proud of all of the volunteers and would like to thank everybody who has helped us so far this harvest season, and to all whom are planning on helping in the next few weeks!

Week of September 16, 2013: "A Hard Day's Night"

The move to Tioga to help a farmer recovering from open-heart bypass surgery was completed. Volunteers Levi and Carol Wielenga, Ken and Chris Schaffer, and Josh Riel spent the weekend moving equipment and getting everything ready to go. Levi and Carol headed home the first part of the week and volunteer Charlie Bartsch joined the team. Rain prevented any harvesting during the middle of the week, so Charlie headed home and Faron showed up to help Ken, Chris, and Josh with harvest. Volunteers Josh Riel and Chris Schaffer headed home later in the week, while volunteers Mike Melaas and Roy Shreffler arrived.

Week of September 9, 2013: "John Deere Green"

Volunteer Erv Geisler arrived this week, but due to the rain over the weekend, he and Levi and Carol spent most of first part of the week cleaning, organizing, and maintaining the vehicles. They were able to get back in the fields around Wednesday and completed a large field. Volunteer Josh Riel joined the team on Friday and Erv headed home. The team hopes to finish harvesting in Watford City and move on to Tioga by this weekend.

Week of September 2, 2013: "Amber Waves of Grain"

Volunteers JR and Rod Eckroth continue to harvest in Watford City, and Blaine joined them. Favorable weather has allowed for early starts in the mornings and good progress is being made. Later in the week, Farm Rescue's videographer, Paul Oster, joined the crew to capture the action. Late week rain allowed for some combine maintenance time and JR and Rod handed off the operation to volunteers Levi and Carol Wielenga.

Week of August 26, 2013: "Thank God I'm A Country Boy"

Volunteers JR, Joe Gerner, Randy Thooft, and Denny Clark moved the the lowboy with the combine, the hopper bottom trailer, and the pickup with the combine head to McClusky, ND, to harvest for a farmer that is recovering from back surgery complications. On Wednesday, they were joined by Blaine and volunteer Jason Fewell. Rain late in the week delayed harvest for a day, but Randy and Jason were back in the field the next day, where they were able to finish harvesting for the farmer.

JR and Denny Clark continued on to Watford City, ND, to continue harvesting for a farmer recovering from coronary bypass surgery. Rain late in the week delayed harvest for a day, but JR and Denny were back in the field the next day.

Week of August 19, 2013: "Farm Rescue on the move"

John Wiebener and Will Rudolphi finished harvesting wheat in South Dakota. John returned to his day job...or should we say night job...flying around the world as a FEDEX pilot. (Thank you for flying in from New Mexico to help us John!) Will and Gary moved equipment to Watford City, North Dakota for incoming volunteers Jack Rutledge and Denny Clark to harvest for a farmer who recently underwent heart surgery.

We also had a wonderful concert in Minnesota featuring country music artist Jason Brown. Everyone loved the event and we are already preparing for future concerts. Be sure to check out a sample of Jason Brown's music at

Week of August 12, 2013: "This Could Be the Start of Something Big"

Despite the wheat being too wet to combine much of the week, Farm Rescue volunteers, Will Rudolphi and John Wiebener, and Faron did start harvesting in Meadow, SD. They combined just over 100 acres before nightfall and then were held up again by wet weather.

Week of August 5, 2013: "We've Only Just Begun"

Farm Rescue is back in the field! Almost.

The week of August 5th, RDO Equipment Co hosted a combine clinic to train the Farm Rescue staff and volunteers Rod Eckroth, Pete Von Bank, Garry Deckert, Joe Gerner, Charlie Hardie, Jeff Larson, and Levi and Carol Wielenga on the beautiful big, green combines that will be in the field this fall. The combines were later loaded on to the Farm Rescue lowboy trailers; one combine and trailer combo was moved to Fargo and Faron, Garry, Rod, and Jeff moved the other combine and trailer combo to Meadow, SD. The grain was still too wet to start harvesting, so the hope is that it will dry out by next week, and the Farm Rescue team can start off a great harvest season!

Week of June 17, 2013: "Walking on Sunshine"

After a very long and wet spring, we at Farm Rescue would like to thank not only the sponsors and donors who made our mission financially possible, but the volunteers who supplied the tenacious manpower and the countless people who helped raise awareness for Farm Rescue.

Together, we assisted 29 farm families this spring! We could not have done it without you. Thank you!

Volunteers Louie Rothmann, Bill Krumwiede, and Pete Von Bank moved the remaining air seeder from Munich, ND, to Sykeston, ND, to plant for a farmer that is recovering from being run over by a truck. They finished seeding in Sykeston on Tuesday and moved Bowden, ND, to finish up a case that had finally dried out enough to finish planting. Volunteers Charlie Bartsch and Pete Von Bank returned the air seeder to RDO Equipment Co. in Washburn, ND, to finish up Farm Rescue's 2013 Planting season!

Week of June 10, 2013: "The Final Countdown"

It has been a long spring for everybody involved in agriculture, but the end is almost near!

Volunteers Garry Deckert, Clarence Kuss, and John Wiebner finished planting in Mohall, ND, for a farmer recovering from rotator cuff surgery, and moved the air seeder to Edmore, ND, where they were joined by volunteer Rick Schaff. They finished seeding on Saturday and returned the planter to RDO Equipment Company in Casselton, ND.

Volunteers Kenneth Chyle and Dwayne Diers started and finished seeding for a Munich, ND, farmer recovering from a severe case of pneumonia.

Week of June 3, 2013: "The Show Must Go On"

Despite the weather challenges, Farm Rescue volunteers have persevered on and continued planting when and where they could.

Volunteers Charlie Bartsch, Dwayne Diers, Gene Spichke, Warren Zakopyko, and Jay Schepp were rained out much of the week, but did plant later in the week for a farmer by Mohall, ND, who is recovering from rotator cuff surgery, until they got rained out again on Saturday.

Volunteers Levi Wielenga and Bob Brietag finished planting in McHenry, ND for a farmer recovering from a broken leg and a farmer recovering from an ATV accident and cancer complications. They then moved to Mohall, ND, to help the team already there.

Volunteers Kenneth Chyle and Joe Gerner finished plating at Lisbon, ND, and moved to Pelican Rapids, MN, to plant for a farmer recovering from a broken pelvis. They were rained out most of the week, but finished planting on Saturday morning and moved the planter back to RDO Equipment Company.

Week of May 27 2013: "Take Me To a Higher Plane"

The weather has been quite the challenge, but Farm Rescue has persevered!

Volunteers Charlie Bartsch, Gary Deckert, and Mike Melaas moved the air seeder to Bottineau, ND, to seed for a farmer that has cancer. They seeded for the early part of the week until they got rained out.

Faron and volunteer Levi Wielenga started seeding for a farmer near Bowden, ND, on Wednesday and planted until early Thursday morning before getting rained out.

Volunteers JR and Kenneth Chyle moved the planter to Columbia to plant beans for a farmer recovering from appendicitis. They finished planting early in the week and moved the planter to Lisbon where they started planting, but got rained out on Wednesday.

Week of May 20 2013: "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"

Despite the copious amounts of rain received throughout the Farm Rescue coverage area, some planting has gotten done!

The beginning of the week was spent working on equipment so that it would be in tip-top condition when the rain stopped and the fields dried out. Volunteers Charlie Bartsch, Louie Rothmann, and Pete Von Bank seeded for a farmer in Crosby, ND, who has two broken legs.

Faron and volunteers JR and Kenneth Chyle also worked on their equipment for the beginning of the week. On Thursday evening, they started planting for a Howard, SD, farmer who is recovering from knee replacements. They finished planting on Friday and moved the planter to RDO Equipment Company in Aberdeen to get it ready to plant soybeans.

Week of May 13, 2013: Make "hay" while the sun shines!

The Weaver clan was joined by volunteers Steve Nelson and Jerry Anderson this week. They finished planting in Richardton, ND, for the farmer who is recovering from being rear-ended by a semi. They then moved to Washburn, ND, to seed for a farmer who had been trampled by a cow. After finishing up in Washburn, they moved the equipment to Bowdon, ND, to seed for a farmer with a brain tumor.

Volunteers Charlie Bartsch, Gene Spichke, and Warren Zakopyko seeded for two farmers near Underwood,ND, and moved the equipment up by Butte, ND, to plant for a farmer who has been hospitalized for diabetes complications.

Volunteers Levi and Carol Wielenga, Loren Wielenga, and Farm Rescue's own Faron Wahl finished planting for a farmer in Hull,IA, who is recovering from complications from knee replacement surgery. They moved the equipment to Bridgewater, SD, and were joined by volunteers Ted Smith, JR, and Ken Chyle. They planted there for a farmer who has cancer and is recovering from a bone marrow transplant.

Board members Jeff Larson and Brian Matzke planted corn and soybeans for a farmer in Verndale, MN, who is currently recovering from shoulder surgery.

Week of May 6, 2013: A Family of Volunteers

While Farm Rescue volunteers have been described as "family like", this week, our volunteers were family.

The first team, comprised of Dick, Randy, and Bill Weaver ( a father, son, and uncle team!), completed seeding for a farmer in Richardton, ND, who had been rear-ended by a semi and is still recovering. They then moved to Washburn, ND, to seed for a a farmer who is recovering from being trampled by a cow.

Mark Olson and Mark Baugmarten made up the second team. They completed seeding in Braddock, ND, for a farmer who has colorectal cancer. They moved the equipment to Underwood, ND, and nearly finished seeding 1,000 acres for a farmer who was attacked by two cows and is now recovering.

Levi and Carol Wielenga (they also bring their son, Lincoln; check out one of Farm Rescue's favorite toddlers in the tractor picture above!) and Luke Wielenga (two brothers and Levi's wife!) started planting for a farmer in Hull, IA who is recovering from complications and infections acquired following a knee replacement.

We are very proud of our volunteer families and how well they work together to help farmers in need. The Weaver family has been volunteering for Farm Rescue for five years, Levi and Carol have been volunteering for four years, and Luke Wielenga has just joined Farm Rescue as a proud volunteer.

A big thank you to all of our volunteers because you truly are the greatest, and we here at Farm Rescue are so happy that you have become a part of the Farm Rescue family!

If you would like to join our family of volunteers, check out the "Volunteer" page under the "Get Involved" tab as we would love to have you join us!

Week of April 29, 2013: In the field again!

After a little bit of a late start, Farm Rescue is finally in the field. Volunteers Charlie Bartsch, Rod Eckroth, and new volunteer Erv Geilser seeded in Bentley, ND, for a farmer that had been mauled by a cow and is recovering from those injuries, as well as an aneurism that was found while he was in the hospital. After finishing up in Bentley, Charlie and Rod moved the air seeder to South Heart, ND, with the help of new volunteer Mark Baugmarten. Dave Sette met up with Mark in the later half of the week and they seeded at South Heart where the farmer is recovering from a severe brain injury after being in an ATV accident.

Faron and volunteer Dave Sette started seeding in Bowdle, SD, for a farmer who has liver disease.After Dave heads up to Team 1, Faron is joined by volunteer Clarence Kuss to finish seeding.

Volunteers Levi and Carol Wielenga move equipment to Hull, IA, to help a farmer who had knee replacement surgery, but is now fighting complications and infections. The ground is too wet to get any planting done this week.

Week of February 18, 2013: We are now accepting applications for spring planting assistance from farm families in ND, SD, MN, IA and eastern Montana. All applications are confidential and priority consideration is given to applications received by April 15. People may also anonymously refer a family that may be in need of a helping hand, yet hesitant to ask for assistance themselves. Contact us at 701-252-2017 or






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