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Our Impact

2019 Weekly Highlights

September 13, 2019 - If Only Combines Could Float...

Well, the wetness just keeps getting wetter and that trend has stalled pretty much all fieldwork throughout the region. A big portion of our service area received an additional 2-4 inches of rainfall this week alone, which has made for some pretty sloppy conditions. At a time when we'd normally be gearing up for soybean harvest, it's a little strange to see so many small grains still waiting to be combined. Crew 1 is in a holding pattern in northeastern North Dakota, as the weather dictates which of our scheduled cases they will be heading to next. Crew 2 is also waiting for things to dry out near Noonan, ND, as they hope to continue combining wheat for a farmer who was severely injured by one of his cows. In the meantime, volunteers have still been keeping busy, moving equipment and performing some necessary maintenance. One bright spot this week was being able to visit with farmers, volunteers and other attendees of the annual Big Iron Farm Show in West Fargo, ND. There was a LOT of traffic at the Farm Rescue booth (another byproduct of the wet weather), but we always enjoy the conversations. It's a wonderful opportunity to not only tell our story to those unfamiliar with our work, but also to hear the difference Farm Rescue has made for so many folks throughout the Midwest. It never gets old hearing, "You guys helped a friend/relative/neighbor of mine." It's another reminder that the work being done through this organization truly matters. We also hear the words "Thank you" spoken a lot throughout the event, but it's all of you who deserve that thanks. Our volunteers, sponsors, individual donors and other supporters have allowed this life-changing work to continue and we are so appreciative of you all!

Special thanks to those who braved the weather this week to lend your time and talents to our mission, including Dennis Bartsch, Bob Miller, Carrie Speer, Jenn Johnson, Cory Holen, Brittney Weber, Audrey Kankelfritz, Garry Deckert, Kieth Worthley, Dan Sullwold, Thomas Wilson and Mark Benson!

Until next week,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

September 6, 2019 - Truckin' Along

Seems like deja vu these past few weeks when it comes to writing these updates. Frequent rain showers have continued slowing progress, but our assistance efforts have continued whenever Mother Nature allows. Crew 1 just wrapped up some wheat combining near Rock Lake, ND for a farmer who injured in an ATV accident. Crew 2 started the week in Leith, ND, but the wet weather had things completely stalled. They've since moved North to Noonan, ND to harvest wheat for a farmer who was mauled by a cow, broke 12 ribs and both bones in shoulder. They'll be returning to Leith once that task is complete, barring any further weather setbacks!

The patience and dedication of our volunteers is second to none and we can't thank them enough for powering us through the delays to keep our mission on track. A big thanks to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field:  Glen Haekenkamp, Mike Melaas, Kieth Worthley, Sharon Hanson, Kyle Thormodson, Alan Bryce, Gary Janz, Mark Baumgarten and Willie Dunn. We can't thank you enough!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

August 30, 2019 - Wait, Wheat, Repeat

Mother Nature continues to hinder progress this harvest season, but our volunteers have been hard at work whenever conditions allow. Crew 1 began their week near Rock Lake, ND, assisting a farmer who was severely injured in an ATV accident. Broken ribs, a separated shoulder and permanent nerve damage have greatly-limited his abilities, so Farm Rescue is honored to be helping with his wheat harvest (when fields are dry enough to combine!) Crew 2 made their way from Lemmon, SD to Leith, ND to assist another farmer in need, as they try to complete their wheat acres. Showers have stalled progress for now and the long holiday weekend has made it a challenge to find available volunteers, but just as they always do, our amazing family of do-gooders have risen to the challenge to keep our equipment rolling. There are many acres to cover in the next few months and we are truly blessed to have so many passionate supporters of our mission. If you're a sponsor, a donor, a volunteer or simply an individual spreading the word about Farm Rescue, please know you are appreciated. Thank you for being a Farm Rescuer! And of course, a huge thank you to this week's volunteers in the field: Rick Davidson, John Robertson, David Frueh, Randy Thooft, Mike Ziegler, Robert Sepulvado and Erv Geisler. You are all rockstars!

Until next week,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

August 23, 2019 - Gaining Ground

Cooperative weather makes a big difference in agriculture and thankfully, we've seen a bit more of it this week. Crew 1 wrapped up a few more wheat acres near Harvey, ND for a farmer who was injured in an ATV accident. They've now ventured to Rock Lake, ND to harvest wheat for another farmer injured in a 4-wheeler accident who sustained several broken ribs and a separated shoulder with nerve damage. Crew 2 also finished up some wheat near McClusky, ND, as a mother of 3 and key member of the family's farming operation continues her recovery from a traumatic brain injury. From there, they headed down to Lemmon, SD to harvest wheat for a farmer battling cancer. After a short rain delay, they're hoping a bit of wind and sunshine will allow operations to resume this afternoon.

The weather may be unpredictable, but the support we receive from our amazing sponsors, donors and volunteers is unwavering. We could not do what we do without the help of so many of you. A big thanks to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field - Garry Deckert, David Frueh, Robert Sepulvado, Gary Janz, Larry Leier, Bob Miller, Mike Ziegler, John Robertson, Randy Thooft and Rick Davidson. Thank you all for your flexibility and passion for helping others!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Marketing Communications Officer

August 16, 2019 - The Waiting Game

As is often the case with farming, we've experienced a lot of starting and stopping with our assistance efforts throughout the past week. Just as conditions are right to roll, it seems the rain is never far behind. Crew 1 has continued to harvest wheat off-and-on near Harvey, ND for a farmer who sustained several broken ribs and fractured his clavicle and scapula bones in an ATV accident. Crew 2 is still near McClusky, ND assisting a family with their barley and wheat harvest as the mother continues her recovery from a traumatic brain injury. 

The flexibility and passion of our volunteers has been making a world of difference in staffing these assistance efforts in the midst of weather delays. It seemed both locations would not be dry enough to combine until Sunday, but sun and wind moved that timeline up to Friday. That meant each crew needed to assemble at a moment's notice to keep making progress. As you might imagine, that's no easy task when many of our Angels in Blue travel hundreds of miles from a variety of states to provide help. We are truly thankful to all who make that journey, whether from near or far, to carry out our mission. Special thanks to Jim Rose, Mike Youngblood, Garry Deckert, David Frueh, Robert Sepulvado, Gary Janz, Larry Leier, Heidi Kjono and Bob Miller.

Until next week,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

August 9, 2019 - Ready, Set, Harvest!

Harvest has officially arrived and so have more of our amazing volunteers to assist farmers in crisis throughout the region! The combines are rolling and our crews are hard at work carrying out our mission. Crew 1 assembled near Harvey, ND to assist a farmer who was injured in an ATV accident while herding cattle. Farm Rescue volunteers are combining a few hundred acres of his wheat after he sustained several broken ribs and fractured his clavicle and scapula bones. Crew 2 is currently near McClusky, ND harvesting barley for a farm family as a wife/mother/crucial member of the operation recovers from a traumatic brain injury. Wet weather has slowed progress a bit, but our Angels in Blue are anxious to continue their efforts when things dry out. 

It takes a lot of coordination and support to make our work possible and we can't say "Thank You" enough to all those involved. Our sponors, donors and volunteers are the moving parts of a much larger machine and we are truly grateful to ALL our Farm Rescuers. This week, we give special thanks to our first harvest volunteers of the season: Keith Bisson, Gaylen Weisenburger, Lee Van Ruler, Jim Rose, Mike Youngblood, Garry Deckert and David Frueh. You are a blessing to our organization!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

August 2, 2019 - Hay Bales & Parade Trails

It's been a few weeks since our last update, but we've definitely been keeping busy! After our spring planting efforts wrapped up, we pretty much jumped right into haying season. Our volunteers spent time cutting and baling in western North Dakota, assisting a rancher near Beulah dealing with significant heart complications. From there, they moved near Dickinson to provide haying assistance to another rancher battling brain cancer. Despite a few delays for weather and maintenance, our Angels in Blue rose to the challenge and made a whole lot of bales to support these ranchers' herds.

Recently, another group of volunteers converged in Minot, ND to represent Farm Rescue in the North Dakota State Fair Parade, where our President and Founder, Bill Gross, was honored to serve as Grand Marshal. It was an amazing experience for our organization and we thank everyone who came out to watch! Special thanks to Gooseneck Implement for providing much-appreciated equipment and facilities before and after the parade.

We're not much for bragging, but we truly feel our volunteers are the best in the world! Everything we do is made possible through their hard work and passion for helping others. These past few weeks, we've had many Farm Rescuers serving as our boots on the ground to further our mission, including Bill Bjorneby, Clint Wald, Mike Janeway, Austin Magruder, David Frueh, Will Rudolphi, Vera Wright, Charlie Bartsch, Garry Deckert, Gary Krieger, Kathy Duchsherer, Nathan Smith, the Mark Naaden family and Minot UPS employees and their family members. Sorry if I missed anyone!

Harvest is just around the corner and more of our amazing volunteers are set to carry out our assistance efforts throughout the region in the coming weeks and months. Thank you to all our sponsors and donors for making that work possible! 

Until next week, 

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

June 14, 2019 - Seeds Have Been Sown

The 2019 planting season is officially in the books! Earlier this week, our last group of volunteers wrapped up soybean planting for a Milbank, SD farmer recovering from back surgery. Despite some downtime for wet weather, we feel pretty blessed with how everything came together throughout our planting assistance operations. Everyone remained safe and there weren't any major breakdowns to hinder progress along our service route. What more could you ask for?

Operation Hay Lift is still going strong, as our volunteers work to deliver more donated hay and supplies to portions of Nebraska and Iowa affected by severe flooding. From the hay donors to our volunteer drivers and the many individuals and businesses who stepped forward to make this relief effort possible, we can't say THANK YOU enough! If you ever needed another reminder of the overwhelming generosity that exists in the agricultural community, this is definitely it!

Thank you to all of our volunteers, sponsors and donors who carried us through the planting season and all the while, continued supporting Operation Hay Lift. A special shout out to Kieth Worthley for helping us cross the finish line with planting and for your extra efforts in transporting equipment, performing maintenance and getting us ready to help the next farmers and ranchers in crisis!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

June 7, 2019 - Nearly There

It's hard to believe the end of planting season is now in sight and we couldn't be more grateful to the volunteers, sponsors and donors who helped us get here. Crew 1 wrapped-up their remaining soybean acres for a farmer near Litchville, ND recovering from a stroke. Crew 2 put on some miles this week, after finishing some late-season wheat for a McCanna, ND farmer who recently underwent arm surgery. Their next stop was near Frederick, SD to plant a few hundred acres of soybeans for a farmer battling cancer who also had a recent hip replacement. From there, they ventured to Milbank, SD for our final planting assistance case of 2019. They plan to finish seeding soybeans for a farmer recovering from back surgery within the next day or two (weather permitting). 

In the midst of our planting efforts, Operation Hay Lift volunteer drivers have continued hauling hay and supplies to ranchers affected by severe flooding in Nebraska. We still have several more loads of donated hay to deliver in the coming weeks, as well as some much-needed fencing supplies. Thank you to everyone who made this operation possible!

Another HUGE thank you goes out to Farm Rescue's boots on the ground - our volunteers! Special thanks to Kenneth Chyle, Emil Baranko, Kieth Worthley, Bill Helpingstine, Greg Kalinoski and Michael Davis for your selfless efforts this week. We couldn't do this without you!

Until next week,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

May 31, 2019 - Waitin' on Water

Midwest farmers have many acres left to plant and an ever-dwindling supply of patience. Weekend rain showers added moisture to already-saturated fields across the region, but a couple days of sun and breeze made a big difference for several areas. That allowed our volunteers to get back to doing what they do best - helping farmers in crisis! Crew 1 resumed soybean planting near Hazelton, ND for a farmer battling leukemia. From there, they returned to Litchville, ND to wrap up a few more acres of soybeans for a farmer who suffered a stroke. Crew 2 picked up where they left off in McCanna, ND, planting a few hundred acres of wheat for a farmer recovering from arm surgery. 

Wet weather has also slowed progress on Operation Hay Lift, but thanks to some amazing volunteer drivers, we were able to deliver several more loads to Nebraska throughout the week. 

"Thank You" is definitely our most used phrase at Farm Rescue, but we are truly thankful to everyone who makes our mission possible. This week's team of do-gooders includes Kim Brown, Kieth Worthley, Greg Kalinoski, Kenneth Chyle, Emil Baranko, Bill Helpingstine, Mike Platt and Rick Davidson. Thank you all for your passion and work ethic! We're hoping the weather holds throughout the remainder of planting and we're praying for all the farmers working tirelessly to get their crops in the ground!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

May 24, 2019 - H2 Oh My!

As is often the case in agriculture, we currently find ourselves at the mercy of Mother Nature, waiting for the rain to stop and fields to dry. Thankfully, we have a patient group of volunteers ready to spring into action whenever that happens! Crew 1 began the week with hopes of planting 700+ acres of soybeans for a farmer near Hazelton, ND battling leukemia. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans. Crew 2 is in the same boat (literally, if the rain doesn't stop) as their assistance efforts were also stalled due to precipitation. They began their week in Litchville, ND, planting soybeans for a farmer who recently suffered a stroke. When field conditions worsened, they traveled to McCanna, ND to beat the next round of rain and plant some wheat for a farmer recovering from arm surgery. The wet weather has now saturated most of the region and our two crews joined forces to tackle some maintenance on our vehicle fleet. Like so many other farmers, they're anxious to get back in the field!

The weather has also created some challenges with hay deliveries, as many of our generous hay donors' yards are too wet for pick-ups to occur. Despite that fact, three loads of hay were transported to Nebraska this week for Operation Hay Lift and two more are on the way!

None of this would be possible without the support of many individuals and businesses. Thank you to RDO Truck Centers of Fargo and RDO Equipment Company of Fergus Falls, MN for assisting with DOT inspections this week. We are also truly grateful to the folks at Red Horse Ranch near Fergus Falls for providing storage space for our equipment. Last but not least, we want to extend a huge thank you to our volunteers for their dedication, patience and generosity in helping us fulfill our mission (even during wet weather). This week's Good Samaritan crews include Kenneth Chyle, Kieth Worthley, Wayland Adams, Kim Brown, Greg Kalinoski, Emil Baranko, Bill Helpingstine, David Frueh, Mike Platt and Rick Davidson. Thank you all for your service!

Until next week, think dry thoughts!

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

May 17, 2019 - Progress and Purpose

Our amazing and dedicated volunteers continue to work some long days and nights, planting seeds of hope for farmers in crisis throughout the region. Crew 1 started their week in New Salem, ND, seeding soybeans for a farmer who recently had open heart surgery. Thanks to some cooperative weather, they've now moved on to Hazelton, ND to assist a farmer currently receiving cancer treatments. Crew 2 spent most of their week planting wheat near Cleveland, ND for a farmer undergoing kidney transplant surgery. It's a truly amazing story, as his wife is serving as the kidney donor. After wrapping up with wheat, Crew 2 traveled to Litchville, ND to plant 800 acres of soybeans for a producer who recently suffered a stroke. Both crews have been working day and night to cover as much ground as possible. 

As our air seeders roll in the field, our semi trucks continue to rack-up roadway miles in support of Operation Hay Lift. Volunteer drivers have delivered more loads of donated hay to flood-stricken ranchers in Nebraska this week, with several more loads planned in the weeks ahead. If you're a Farm Rescue volunteer with a CDL, let us know if you're available to help carry out this mission!

We are truly beaming with pride for the many Farm Rescuers supporting our assistance efforts. In addition to our generous sponsors and donors, a great big THANK YOU goes out to the volunteers who selflessly give of themselves to serve others in need. This week's talented crews consisted of Tom Meyer, Ron Donohue, Ken Enstrom, Larry Begyn, Jeff Preston, Jerry Burau, Mike Wilson, Mike Youngblood and David Frueh. None of this would be possible without you!

Until next week, 

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

May 10, 2019 - Planting Operations Soar

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks at Farm Rescue, as our volunteers have truly hit the ground running! Our two new John Deere 9620R four-wheel drive tractors (made possible through the generosity of MANY individuals, families and businesses) are already being put to good use. Crew 1 started the season in Beulah, ND planting oats for a farmer currently receiving cancer treatments. From there, they traveled to Arnegard, ND to seed wheat and barley for a farmer recovering from torn ligaments in his arm. They wrapped up the week near Alkabo, ND planting peas for another farmer battling cancer. Crew 2 planted their first seeds of spring near Glenburn, ND for a farmer who suffered severe burns in an explosion on his farm. The proximity to Minot Air Force Base also made for a lot of traffic overhead throughout the week, as they planted many acres of wheat for the family. Both crews are currently en route to their next locations, which you can read more about in next week's update!

In the midst of our usual planting efforts, Operation Hay Lift volunteers continue to haul much-needed cattle feed and supplies to ranchers affected by flooding in Nebraska and the surrounding region. So far, the campaign has helped to coordinate and deliver more than 100 loads (and counting!) of feed and supplies.

As always, none of these efforts would be possible without the support of our amazing sponsors, donors and volunteers. Many of our Angels in Blue have been hard at work carrying out our mission, including Mike Melaas, John and Carol Andrews, Tom Meyer, Mark Baumgarten, Clay Robertson, Mark Burton, Jerry Burau, Mike Wilson, Jeff Preston, Steve Satterthwaite and David Frueh. Thank you to all of our wonderful Farm Rescuers!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer

April 26, 2019 - Time to Get Planting!

We are on the road! While two seasons merge, with "Operation Hay Lift - Nebraska" trucks still putting on miles, delivering much needed feed and supplies, AS1 (Air Seeder 1) is equipped and the crew is getting the equipment on the road after last minute setup. A big thank you to business sponsors RedE, Needham Ag Technologies, and No Till Drill for assisting with providing and installing parts for our air-seeders before we hit the dirt! Our first stop with AS1 is near Beulah, ND assisting a farmer dealing with surgery recovery and cancer treatments.

A great big thank you to all the sponsors, donors and volunteers that make this all happen. Volunteers hauling supplies in Nebraska and doing setup this week were: Jeff Slade, Mike Platt, Carol Wielenga, Kieth Worthley, John Pruessner, Bill Yankee, Andy Jewett, Tim Thompson, Todd Thompson, Clarence Kuss, Mike Blair and Mike Melaas. We could not do it without each of you, the Farm Rescuers!

Until next time ~

Carol Wielenga, Program Director

April 19, 2019 - Operation Hay Lift 2.0

Operation Hay Lift in Nebraska is still in full gear as we get set up for spring planting operations. So far, we’ve delivered loads to over 60 producers in Nebraska and Southern South Dakota to provide relief in the midst of the flood devastation. Thank you to the many who have donated to this cause: monetarily, through hay, fencing or truck donations, or in volunteering their time and energy. The generous outpouring of these resources has been amazing to see. 

As we move into spring, one of the tractors arrived on site at the dealership and we will have it in motion soon as we eagerly await the second. Spring planting will start in western North Dakota near Beulah and Minot. As planting volunteers head onto the scene and logistics come together, we look forward with anticipation of helping as many farmers in crisis as possible through this hand up - safely, efficiently, together. Thank you for your thoughts.

Blessings ~

Carol Wielenga, Program Director


FARM RESCUE SPONSOR - John Deere Seeding Group


FARM RESCUE VOLUNTEERS - Dan and Debbie Murphy


Farm Rescue 2018 - Hettinger, ND