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Previous Yearly Highlights

2014 Weekly Highlights

Harvest Wrap Up

Harvest 2014 wrapped up this week as Farm Rescue finished harvest in Fergus Falls, MN. Looking back on our year, Farm Rescue encountered many obstacles in the weather patterns. Harvest was certainly challenging in the beginning, but when the weather warmed up, our crews were ready! They worked hard and fast to finish up before the cold set in. One of the crews helped farmers near Jamestown, ND and Orient, SD, while the other crew went on to complete harvest for family farmers near New Rockford, ND and Fergus Falls, MN."


The year was completed successfully and Farm Rescue assisted 50 farmers with planting, haying and harvesting. In late October, we assisted our 300th family! With your support, we were able to impact these families and communities through this assistance, and we look forward to helping many more

Fergus Falls, MN

This week brings a milestone for Farm Rescue.  Since it's inception 8 years ago, Farm Rescue, it's sponsors, donors and volunteers have assisted 300 farm families.  Fergus Falls, MN, was the 300th case and the last of the 2014 harvest season for Farm Rescue.

Volunteers Faron Wahl, Wayland Adams Dwayne Diers, John Weibener and Will Rudolphi ended the season on a cold, dreary note.  



Conde, ND

Ocasionally as volunteers are available, but equipment is busy on other cases, Farm Rescue will coodrinate volunteers to assist on cases in what we call a "Volunteer Only" case.  Volunteers Mark Danielczyk, Robert Stoltman, Mahlon Stoltzfus, Ken Chyle, Kent Koostra and Dexter Schiable all converged on a Conde, ND farm and joined friends and neighbors in the harvest  This case was highlighted with massive outpouring of help from not only Farm Rescue Volunteers, but also neighbors who brought equipment to assist.  At one point in the harvest, there were 5 combines, 3 grain carts and upwards of 8 semi trucks helping get the corn into the bin.  

White, SD

With the weather clearing, volunteers Don Gilberg, Brandon and Wayne Jenson assisted in White, SD.  Don Gilberg proved to be somewhat of a genius by figuring out the complecated sensors on the header making the combine run very smooth and providing a good quality harvest for the farmer. 

Rainy Week - Wing, ND

October is starting out wet and soggy.  While waiting for dryer weather volunteers Frank Schaler, Kyle Thordmonson, Faron Wahl, Ted Smith, Dave Lydon, Roy Schreffler spend days observing crops, moving and repairing equipment and assisting the RDO Equipment Company technicians in fine tuning settings on combine header and concaves.  

Wing, ND

This may be one of the more challenging weeks for Farm Rescue Harvest Operations.  Weather has definately made an impact on volunteers ability to get the wheat harvested.  Volunteers Mike Melaas and Jack Rutledge made some minor repairs to the combine in Plaza, ND and brought the equipment to Wing, ND to assist on the case.  Both Combines were located in Wing, ND and additional volunteers Jed Wall, Ted Smith, Dave Lydon, Dennis Anderson, and Faron Wahl, Frank Schaler, and Kyle Thormodson arrived on the case to wind, rain and generally poor harvest conditions.  Farmers need the rain, but generally wish it away during harvest season.  Spirits were high and the volunteers were spoiled with good cooking and outstanding hospitality.

Plaza, ND, Crystal Springs, ND, Regent, ND

Harvest is definately in full swing!  This week has been challenging but many great volunteers are making it seem easy.  Crews are in 3 locations this week.  Plaza, ND; Keith Barkema and Jack Rutledge hauled loads while Charlie Bartsch, Gene Spichke and Warren Zakopyko operated the combine.  Dexter Schiable made over 500 round straw bales.

John Rupp was assisting in Regent, ND by running combine

Levi and Carol Wielenga, John Robertson, Faron Wahl and Keith Barkema were in Crystal Springs, ND.  Additional Crystal Springs residents pitched in to house our volunteers making this a memorable case.

Plaza, ND.

As harvest crawled into existence, rain and weather hampered the drying of the wheat.  Harvest cases such as these require patience and persistance.  Wheat kernels require a low moisture content in order to maintain while being stored without spoiling.  Many local Farm Rescue volunteers together with volunteers from outside the geographic area combined on this case to make it happen.  Many thanks to Bill Krumwiede (Voltaire, ND), Gene Spichke (Balfour, ND), Jay Schepp (Bismark, ND), Jack Rutledge (JR) (Peachtree City, GA), Warren Zakopyko (Balfour, ND), Dexter Schaible (Jefferson, SD), Charlie Bartsch (Minot, ND), Keith Barkema (Klemme, IA) and Mike Melaas (Minot, ND) for sharing your skills, talents and ability to put up with JR's amazing stories and nick names while on this case!    Often times, new volunteers report that they had an amazing time meeting other volunteers from all over the United States, helping our great Farm Rescue Case Families and just having a great time working hard and making a difference in someone's life.  Thanks guys.  

The amazing aerial video was provided by Shaun Sipma using a high definition video camera attached to a drone.  Thanks Shaun for the great video and perspective!

Larry & Ann Knecht Family - Gackle, ND


After a few stops and starts due to ole Mother Nature, Farm Rescue Volunteers Andy Wittenburg, Tom Wallace, Faron Wahl and John Robertson worked on the farm.  As many of you know, rain and high humidity has hampered harvest progress throughout much of the Midwest.  But our brave volunteers don't let a little adversity stop them.  Thank you to our great volunteers who drop everything and often times travel thousands of miles to work on family farms in a time of great need.

Anderson Family - Regent, ND

Some Farm Rescue Cases do not require the use of donated RDO John Deere equipment, but use the family farmers equipment to assist in completing the case.  Volunteers Andy Freepons and Randy Thooft each spent a week helping the Anderson family in Regent, ND.  The case is a large case which is about 2,600 acres of wheat.

It's been a very slow start to the harvest season as rain and high humidity have delayed the wheat from drying.



Week of August 10, 2014: Wheat Harvest is close

Volunteers Levi and Carol Wielenga, Clarence Kuss, Jeff Larson, and Christina Gartner met in Casselton, ND to prepare equipment and move to the first Wheat Harvest Cases.

Levi and Carol and Clarence will work near Cleveland, ND and Jeff and Christina are road tripping it down to Faith, SD to put headers into some wheat and cut some samples for moisture content. Hoping for good weather and no breakdowns!

Thanks to all our volunteers for being willing to drop everything and help our case farmers.

Larry and Ann Knecht - Gackle, ND.

Week of August 3, 2014: Take a quick break!

With haying season completed on the 4th of August, there is a small amount of time to take a quick break and re-gather and reflect. It's been a season of challenges so far this year, and each and every single challenge was met with determination and dedication by our volunteers and staff. With the wet planting season and the beginnings of our inaugural haying season, there is much to be thankful for. Our great volunteers, staff and board members spent countless hours communicating, meeting and developing plans to continue and improve how we can best serve our family farmers.

Wheat harvest is coming up fast! Carol and Levi Wielenga and Clarence Kuss are busy preparing the Combines, trucks near Cleveland, ND and Volunteers Jeff & Christina Larson and Terrence Brock are moving equipment towards Faith, SD.

For the haying season, Farm Rescue Volunteers assisted 8 family farmers. 2 - Iowa, 4- North Dakota, 1 - South Dakota and 1 in Montana!

Harvest is here!, busy times ahead.

Week of July 27, 2014: Finish Line Just Ahead

This week, Patrick Marrinan finished up the Chester, Montana case and said goodbye to a new friend. Patrick reported that he really enjoyed getting to know the case farm family and felt proud to be able to volunteer. Thank you Patrick!!

Todd Nelson volunteered starting in Hazen, ND and loaded up the tractor and baler and moved near Washburn, ND. The Mercer, ND case just needed a few more bales done and that case was considered complete. Volunteers Garry Deckert and Jay Schepp were able to make a trip down and pick up the baler and bring it back home.

Haying season was a first this year for Farm Rescue. Volunteers were more than eager to get out there and assist on haying cases and help those in need.

Thank you volunteers for a great first haying season!

Week of July 20, 2014: Big Skies Montana

A successful week for the haying volunteers. Good weather, and much accomplished. Volunteers Patrick Marrinan and Will Rudolphi assisted on a Chester, Montana case helping repair equipment, cutting and baling. The crop was not as large as usual. This case consisted of volunteers operating and working alongside family members to get baling done, moving the bales to the side of the field and ensuring that this family was able to put together a successful year.

Week of July 13, 2014: Moving the Crew

Transporting Haying Equipment safely on the highway from case to case is one of the major muscle movements for Farm Rescue. Very experienced volunteers along with input from North Dakota Department of Transportation regulations were used to put together a formatted guide that is easy to read and understand format. This guide is a tool which helps ensure safety of our volunteers as well as our RDO donated equipment. Just another way we provide a great volunteer experience as well as the safety of all concerned.

Week of June 2, 2014: Keep Moving Forward

It was mid-week before volunteers Levi & Carol Wielenga could get in the field to help a farmer in Badger, MN, who has cancer. Later in the week, they finished planting and moved to Edmore, ND, to help a farmer with cancer.

Volunteers Gene Spichke, Warren Zakopyko, and Bill Krumwiede were rained out for most of the week, but mid-week, they moved to Rugby, ND, to help a farmer with a lung condition. Volunteer Lowell Rothmann joined the team later in the week, and they finished on Saturday and prepped the air seeder to return to RDO.

Week of May 26, 2014: Run Like the Wind, Bullseye

Faron & volunteer Jim Wahl planted for a farmer at Woodworth, ND, who was recovering from a heart attack, and moved up to Larimore early in the week to plant for a farmer who has leukemia. Roger Altstadt joined them for a day to help in Larimore. They finished mid-week in Larimore and volunteers Levi & Carol Wielenga took the air seeder and headed up to Badger, MN to help a farmer with cancer. Upon arrival, they were promptly rained out.

Volunteers Levi & Carol Wielegna were joined by volunteer Mike Melaas and together, they finished planting for a farmer near Wilton, ND who was recovering from surgery. They moved to Turtle Lake, ND to plant for a farmer who has cancer, and then moved to Garrison, ND to plant for a farmer recovering from a heart attack. Mid-week, Levi and Carol headed to the other air seeder and Mike was joined by volunteer Ted Smith. They finished planting at Garrison and moved to Berthold, ND to help a farmer & his wife who were recovering from a serious car accident. After finishing at Berthold, they moved to Velva, ND to help a farmer whose wife has a brain aneurysm. They were rained out until Saturday and after planting for several hours, they were rained out again.

Volunteer Dan Feige returned to the planter early in the week and after getting some much needed parts, planting was resumed at Vining, MN for a farmer who was recovering from surgery. He finished planting mid-week and then prepped the planter for the return to RDO.

Week of May 19, 2014: Planting Like Mad

Volunteers Jim Randolph & Josh Riel headed home early in the week and volunteer Mark Baumgarten was joined by Anthony Dewald. They were rained out early in the week, so Anthony headed home. Volunteer Mark Olson joined Mark B. and they planted for a farmer near Windsor who had a broken collar bone. Faron & volunteer LeRoy Spilde joined them late in the week and had some excitement when 30 of the farmer's horses escaped and they got to help corral them with their ponies of steel. Mark, Mark, and LeRoy took off late in the week and Faron was joined by volunteers Jim Wahl and Levi & Carol Wielenga. They moved to Woodworth and finished planting for a farmer who was recovering from a heart attack.

Volunteers Randy, Bill, & Dick Weaver finished up planting for a farmer near Wing who had had his kidneys removed and moved to another farm near Wing to help a farmer who has a staph infection. They finished mid-week and moved to Mercer to help a farmer who had lost two limbs in a farm accident. Later in the week, they moved to Wilton to plant for a farmer who was recovering from surgery. Jeremy from RDO joined the team later in the week and took over as the Weavers headed home. Jeremy handed the air seeder to Neil from RDO and Levi & Carol later in the week. Volunteer Mike Melaas joined Levi & Carol late in the week and they almost finished planting at Wilton.

Volunteer Dan Feige joined the team at Florence to help a farmer with pneumonia as Bob Stoltman took off for home. Faron joined them early in the week and then headed north as Dan and Jim headed to Battle Lake to help a farmer & his wife who have cancer. They finished planting quickly and moved to another Battle Lake farm to help a farmer with a brain injury. They planted the remainder of the week and were finally kicked out of the fields due to break down on Saturday evening.

Week of May 12, 2014: Run, Run, Run as Fast As You Can

Volunteers Josh Riel and Jim Randolph were rained out early in the week, but when volunteer Mark Baumgarten joined then mid-week, it was time to plant. They finished planting at Gackle, ND, for a farmer with medical issues and then got rained out.

Volunteers John Wiebener, Jerry Anderson, and Steve Nelson started planting for a farmer near Pollock, SD, who is recovering from back surgery. They finished planting around mid-week and then headed to Wing, ND, to help a farmer who had had his kidneys removed. They were joined by volunteers Randy Weaver, Bill Weaver, and Dick Weaver later in the week. The finished planting the case late in the week and headed north to help a farmer who has a staph infection and is also from Wing, ND.

The planter, in Hazel, SD, was rained out for the first part of the week, but it finally dried out enough that volunteers Levi Wielenga and Bob Stoltman, along with Faron, could finish planting and move to Hitchcock to help a farmer recovering from surgery. Levi & Faron headed home late in the week, and Bob was joined by volunteer Jim Genter. They finished planting at Hitchcock on Saturday evening and moved the planter to Florence to help a farmer with pneumonia.

Week of May 4, 2014: So Close And Yet, So Far Away

Volunteers Josh Riel and Jim Randolph arrived to help Jack & Genita Limke. They worked on the air seeder early in the week and moved it to Jamestown late in the week to help a farmer with a medical issue. Jack & Genita Limke headed home after moving the air seeder and Josh and Jim worked on various projects for the remainder of the week as they waited for the ground to dry.

Volunteers Josh & Lin Sybesma moved the planter to Hazel to help a farmer with heart problems. Volunteers Levi Wielenga and Jack Rutledge arrived late Sunday night and started planting first thing on Monday. Volunteer Bob Stoltman joined with Levi as JR headed home mid-week. Volunteer Dwayne Diers joined them for a day, and the three volunteers raced to get the seed in the ground before the rains hit late in the week.

Week of April 27, 2014: Muddy & Puddles

The moisture throughout the upper Midwest kept all farmers out of the field until late in the week. Volunteers Jack & Genita Limke moved some equipment around in North Dakota, but were kept out of the fields thanks to the recent rains.

Volunteer Levi W. finished planting in Howard for a farmer who has a staph infection. Over the weekend, new volunteers, Josh & Lin Sybesma, washed and moved the planter to Hazel, SD to help a farmer with heart problems.

Week of April 20, 2014: Boys (& Girl) in Blue

Volunteer Levi Wielenga moved the air seeder to Union Center, SD, to help a farmer who had sustained a back injury. Faron and volunteers Jeff Larson & Dick Harken met up with him, and they planted day and night. They finished mid-week, and Jeff and Dick moved the air seeder up to Pollock, SD, and then Jeff headed home while Dick drove down to join up with the planter.

Faron and Levi headed south to meet the planter in Salem, SD, to plant for a farmer who has cancer. Faron headed home after getting Levi set up, and Levi's wife, Carol, joined him later in the day. Dick helped them for a few hours and then headed home. Levi & Carol finished at Salem on Saturday afternoon and moved the planter to Howard, SD, to help a farmer who is fighting a staph infection. In anticipation of the impending rain, they planted through the weekend and planted over half of the farmer's acres.

Week of April 13, 2014: Back in Business

After months of preparation, Farm Rescue is back in the field! Faron Wahl and volunteer Levi Wielenga moved a tractor and air seeder to Redfield, SD, on Friday to help a farmer whose wife has Alzheimer's. They finished up there late Saturday night and will move to the next case on Monday.






Farm Rescue 2023 - Palestine, IL