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Our Impact

2020 Weekly Highlights

July 3, 2020 - Battling Heat in the Wheat State

It's been a couple weeks since we last checked in, but there's definitely been no shortage of activity. As haying season continues in our northern service territory, we were honored to assist our very first family in the state of Kansas! This particular farmer sustained a pretty severe leg injury while working with a post hole digger. Our volunteers braved the heat and were honored to harvest a few hundred acres of wheat for the family with our beautiful new S780 combine, sponsored by John Deere and local dealer, PrairieLand Partners. Entering a new state is no simple task and we feel truly blessed to have support from the amazing folks at PrairieLand and John Deere. As harvest assistance kicked-off in our southern territory, haying operations progressed in our northern region. After making around 600 bales near Drake, ND for a rancher battling bladder cancer, our volunteers headed southwest to New Leipzig, ND to cut hay for another rancher recovering from a recent hip surgery. Temps have been very high throughout our 7-state service area and it serves as another reminder of how lucky we are to have such amazing volunteers to carry out this mission. Whether battling extreme heat, gale force winds or bitter cold, these Farm Rescuers get the job done right and ask nothing in return. It bears repeating, if you're looking for a bright spot in an often-dark world, look no further than a Farm Rescue volunteer. Special thanks to the amazing team of do-gooders in the fields and on the roads this week: Rick Davidson, Alan Bryce, Keith Barkema, David Frueh, Dave Zimmer, Bob Miller and Heidi Kjono. We hope you all have a safe and wonderful Independence Day!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager


June 19, 2020 - No Rest for the Weary

It's been a very windy week near our North Dakota home base, and it seems to have blown us right into the next season of assistance. Our planting efforts just officially wrapped up, but haying season is already in full swing. Crew 1 transported their seeding unit to one of our generous implement sponsors, True North Equipment, for some well-deserved R & R and maintenance. These machines have covered a lot of ground this year to support farmers in need and they withstood every challenge placed before them. We feel truly blessed to have such high-quality John Deere equipment at our disposal to carry out this mission. Crew 2 finished up a few more acres near Jud, ND for a farmer injured by one of his cows. Volunteer planting was also completed near Edgeley, ND for a farmer battling cancer. That seeding unit is now receiving some tender loving care of its own at another valued implement sponsor, Green Iron Equipment. As you've probably discovered by now, it takes many individuals, organizations and businesses to bring this all together. We are extremely grateful to all who contribute to the greater good of Farm Rescue!

As mentioned earlier, our volunteers have been providing some haying assistance this week near Drake, ND for a farmer/rancher who is in the midst of his second battle with cancer. His son has been working hard to manage the family operation, but a recent baler fire created some additional challenges. Farm Rescue is honored to provide support during their haying efforts. As baling continues in our northern territory, our organization is still working hard to spread word of our harvest assistance offerings in the newly-added state of Kansas. If you know anyone in the Jayhawk State experiencing a major injury, illness or natural disaster who could use a hand with harvest work, be sure to point them in our direction!

It was also a bittersweet week in the Farm Rescue office, as we bid farewell to longtime staffer, Lynne Olien. She has been an instrumental member of our organization for the past 5 years, wearing just about every hat you can imagine. If you've ever called our office, you've likely spoken with her directly, or received an email or text message from her at some point in time. It's impossible to list all of her contributions, but she truly epitomizes what it means to be a Farm Rescuer. Lynne has always made helping others a top priority and we feel blessed to have had her on our team this past half-decade. Although she is answering a new career calling, she plans to continue assisting Farm Rescue whenever possible. We wish her all the best in her next adventure! Lastly, a very special thank you to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field:  Garry Deckert, David Frueh, Rick Davidson, Bill Bjorneby and Kenny Crites. It's true what they say - "Not all superheroes wear capes."

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager


June 5, 2020 - The Home Stretch

We're getting very close to wrapping up our planting assistance operations for 2020 and we are truly blessed to have had one of the most cooperative weather weeks of the season. Outside of a few sprinkles, our crews saw plenty of sunshine and wind to dry out some of the wetter soil in our service territory. Crew 1 spent the first half of their week near Rugby, ND planting barley and soybeans for a farmer batting cancer. It’s not every day our air seeding equipment works the same field as a farmer’s combine, but that’s been the strange reality for a lot of folks this year. After finishing in Rugby, our volunteers headed northeast to Edmore, ND to plant wheat and canola for a farmer who is very limited in his mobility, following a COVID-19 battle back in March. Thanks to the help of our amazing Farm Rescuers, he can now focus on his rehab and recovery in hopes of returning to the field for harvest work. Crew 2 spent their week near Jud, ND planting wheat for a farmer who was severely injured by one of his cows. Field conditions were still pretty wet when they arrived, but our Angels in Blue made progress where they could and were able to seed a few hundred acres for this farmer, as he recovers from several broken ribs and a broken shoulder. Our volunteers will now wrap up this season's planting efforts near Edgeley, ND, assisting another farmer battling prostate cancer. Our prayers go out to everyone working in the field to plant this year's crops, and in some cases, harvest last year's. Please help us in sending a few extra prayers for the amazing farm families we assist, as they strive to return to the work they love.

This weekend brings an exciting event for our nonprofit, as NASCAR drivers Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer will be racing in Busch Light corn-themed race cars in Atlanta, featuring the Farm Rescue logo and the hashtag - #ForTheFarmers. We're hoping this helps spread word of our Good Samaritan efforts and the wonderful folks who make it all possible! Thank you to Busch for helping to fund our recent launch into the state of Kansas for harvest assistance operations. If you know someone who might benefit from Farm Rescue's harvest assistance efforts anywhere in our 7-state service area, please visit farmrescue.org or call 701-252-2017! Last, but not least, we want to give a HUGE shoutout to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field: Sharon Hanson, Lee Van Ruler, Kenneth Chyle, Emil Baranko and David Frueh. Each and every one of you is a blessing to our organization!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Program Manager


May 29, 2020 - Kansas, Here We Come!

This week marked another milestone in the history of Farm Rescue, as we announced the addition of Kansas to our service territory. Operations in the Jayhawk State will begin with harvest assistance ONLY in 2020, with hopes of adding more services as further resources become available. Anheuser-Busch/Busch Beer has been instrumental in helping us achieve this goal, by providing the necessary funding to launch our assistance efforts in this new state. We're hoping the word spreads quickly and applications start arriving soon from Kansas farm families in need of our help. If you know someone who might benefit from Farm Rescue's harvest assistance efforts anywhere in our 7-state service area, please visit farmrescue.org or call 701-252-2017!

With Kansas harvest fast-approaching, our volunteer planting crews are still hard at work seeding the last few crops of the year in our northern states. Crew number 1 spent much of the week near Sharon, ND planting wheat and beans for a farmer battling throat cancer. They're now heading to Rugby, ND to seed a few acres of barley and beans for another farmer fighting prostate cancer. Crew number 2 began their week in Hoven, SD to finish up some soybean planting for a farmer dealing with a heart condition. After roading the equipment to Jud, ND, a few rain showers delayed their start. Thanks to a few days of sun and wind, and a favorable forecast for the weekend, they're now hoping to make progress on some wheat planting for a farmer injured by one of his cows. Despite the stranger-than-average start to the year, we feel very blessed to have made some great progress throughout the region to assist families in crisis. That's all thanks to some amazing volunteers, dedicated to this Good Samaritan mission. Special thanks to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field: Kenneth Chyle, Emil Baranko, Mike Youngblood, Greg Kalinoski, Lee Van Ruler and Sharon Hanson!

Until next week,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer


May 22, 2020 - Burning the Midnight Oil

It's been a very productive week for our assistance efforts and that is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. If you've read any of our prior weekly updates, it may seem like we do an awful lot of bragging about our Angels in Blue. That's only because they deserve it! These amazing individuals are the lifeblood of our work and we relish any opportunity to talk them up. They devote some very long days (and often nights) to assist farm and ranch families in crisis, and never ask anything in return. They're here to help, plain and simple. So, if you're looking for some uplifting news and positive stories in today's crazy world, look no further than Farm Rescue. 

Crew number 1 spent much of their week near Bowbells, ND planting soybeans for a farmer who's currently receiving treatments for liver cancer. After a good shot of moisture delayed their start, they made some great progress and have now begun the journey to Sharon, ND. Their plan is to seed several hundred acres of wheat and soybeans for a farmer battling throat cancer. Crew number 2 made the most of their cooperative weather and seeded more than 1,600 acres in 6 days, with another 200+ miles of roading the equipment. They began their week near Elgin, ND, wrapping up some oat acres for a farmer who was injured in an ATV accident. From there, they headed East to New Salem, ND to plant beans for another farmer who sustained a broken leg and ankle in a 4-wheeling accident. After that, they crossed the border into South Dakota to seed wheat near Lemmon for a farmer dealing with an illness. They've now moved back to Hoven, SD, to resume planting beans for a farmer dealing with a heart condition. With the window soon closing on planting season, we hope to keep up the pace and help a few more families in need. A big thank you goes out to John Deere Seeding Group in Valley City, ND and Gooseneck Implement in Lemmon, SD for all your help in keeping our equipment running strong in the field! Another sincere thank you goes out to the amazing volunteers serving as our boots-on-the-ground to fulfill our mission, including Mark Baumgarten, Ken Enstrom, Heidi Kjono, David Frueh, Albert Lautenschlager, Kenneth Chyle, Emil Baranko, Jeff Preston, Paul Zierke, Mike Youngblood and Greg Kalinoski. You're all heroes in our book!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer


May 15, 2020 - Social Distance Assistance

The year 2020 has definitely been one for the history books. As states struggle with decisions to reopen businesses and loosen some of the current COVID restrictions, Farm Rescue and our volunteers have been trying the best we can to operate in the usual fashion. Of course, a few changes have been implemented to keep both our assisted families and Angels in Blue as safe as possible. That means frequent sanitizing of equipment and tools, maintaining distance from one other and using masks whenever working in close quarters. So far, our volunteers have adapted well and still find ways to have fun with it all, but I think one of the greatest challenges has been the limited interaction with the families they assist. Farm Rescue has always been a conduit for handshakes and hugs, so it seems a bit strange to witness a distant wave or an elbow bump between such friendly and caring individuals. There's still a tremendous amount of gratitude shown for the work Farm Rescue is doing, but we definitely look forward to the day when hugs make their long-awaited return! It's been another wet week for portions of the region, with some additional rain and even snow in parts of our service area. Crew number 1 wrapped up their wheat planting near Lambert, MT for a farmer recovering from a stroke. From there, they made the long journey to Bowbells, ND to seed soybeans for a farmer currently receiving liver cancer treatments. Rain and snow preceded their arrival, so the next volunteer crew is currently en route to pick up the reigns when conditions improve. Crew number 2 began the week in Hoven, SD, but wet conditions there prompted a change of plans, as well. They've now moved near Elgin, ND to plant a few hundred acres of oats for a farmer who was injured in an ATV accident. The plan is to return to Hoven once things dry out, with a few other stops scheduled along the way. Our volunteers have covered a lot of ground, thus far, with many miles and acres ahead! As always, we want to thank all of those who make this mission possible, especially this week's Farm Rescuers in the field:  Tom Meyer, Ron Donohue, Garry Deckert, Mark Baumgarten, Ken Enstrom, David Frueh and Albert Lautenschlager. 

Until next week,

Dan Erdmann, Marketing Communications Officer


May 8, 2020 - Some Rain, Some Gain

There's no such thing as a perfect planting season, and that is proving true once again in 2020. After a solid start to our assistance efforts, crew number 2 experienced its first big rain delay of the year. Seeding work was already underway near Hoven, SD to assist a farmer dealing with heart issues, when nearly two inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period. That was enough to halt progress for a few days, but things seem to be drying out and our volunteers are anxious to get back in the field. In the meantime, crew number 1 has had better luck and is burning the midnight oil to make use of the cooperative weather. They began their week near Belfield, ND to plant some canola acres for a farmer battling cancer. From there, they headed northwest to Lambert, MT to assist a farmer recovering from a stroke. Both teams have done some amazing work and covered many miles and acres, thus far. Another group of volunteers is poised and ready to pick up the torch and continue our mission in the coming week. We feel so blessed to have such a capable family of do-gooders to serve as our boots on the ground in assisting farm families in need. A huge thank you to this week's Farm Rescuers in the field: Garry Deckert, Albert Lautenschlager, Mike Youngblood, Greg Kalinoski, Tom Meyer and Ron Donohue. We are honored to have you all!

Until next time,

Dan Erdmann - Marketing Communications Officer


May 1, 2020 - Rays of Hope

With so much uncertainty in the world at the moment, it's especially comforting to be back in the field planting the first seeds of 2020. Something about this time of year always brings a renewed sense of hope to so many and what could be better right now? Things may be far from normal, but we feel truly blessed to be carrying out our Good Samaritan mission to the best of our ability. That's all thanks to our dedicated volunteers, who have been putting in some long days to sow the seeds of hope for farm families in crisis. Crew number 1 spent a few days this week near Regent, ND to plant wheat for a farmer who was injured by one of his cows. They've now moved West to Belfield, ND to plant a few hundred acres of canola for a farmer battling cancer. Crew number 2 started the week planting wheat near Linton, ND for another farmer receiving cancer treatments. A new batch of volunteers are now headed to the Hoven, SD area to assist in seeding soybeans for a farmer dealing with heart issues. So far, the weather has been relatively cooperative (except for some light showers) and we pray that trend continues. Sometimes weather delays do make for some amazing photo opportunities, however. Just another reminder that storms don't last forever and beauty is more easily appreciated once they've passed. We can't extend a big enough thank you to our Farm Rescuers in the field for carrying out these assistance efforts, including Garry Deckert, Albert Lautenschlager, David Frueh, Larry Leier, Mark Benson, Bob Miller, Mike Youngblood and Greg Kalinoski. 

Until next week,

Dan Erdmann - Marketing Communications Officer


April 24, 2020 - On the Road Again

Welcome to Farm Rescue 2020! We feel truly blessed to continue our assistance operations for another year, and that's all thanks to our amazing family of volunteers, donors, business sponsors and the many others who support our mission. To say it's been an interesting start to the year would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has much of the world in disarray, including many businesses and nonprofits. Farm Rescue is definitely navigating some uncharted waters, but our board of directors, full-time staff and volunteer workforce are taking the necessary precautions and updating protocols to ensure operations can continue as safely as possible. Unfortunately, that means many of our out-of-state Angels in Blue will be missing out on some of their annual planting assistance work, but everyone has been very understanding in the current situation. We hope some of the quarantine rules and travel restrictions will be lifted soon to allow more of our long-distance volunteers an opportunity to serve with our organization once again. Thankfully, many local Farm Rescue volunteers are stepping up to assist farm families in their area.

If things weren't strange enough amidst the pandemic, we also had our first harvest assistance case of the year... in the month of April. Due to wet conditions extending through the fall of 2019, many crops were left standing throughout the winter months. We were honored to assist a farmer near Valley City, ND with his remaining corn harvest after he suffered a broken leg. Most recently, our Field Operations Manager, Luke Benedict, and several local volunteers have been prepping our seeding equipment for the long weeks ahead. Today, Crew 1 is en route to our first planting assistance case near Regent, ND, to assist a farmer whose abilities have been greatly hindered by a broken arm. Crew 2 will be working near Linton, ND the next few days to plant a few hundred acres of wheat for a farmer battling cancer. More assistance cases are on the schedule for the coming weeks and we'll be praying for more cooperative weather than 2019 had to offer! Special thanks to our most recent Farm Rescuers in the field - Garry Deckert, David Frueh, Mark Benson, Larry Leier, Albert Lautenschlager and Luke Benedict. Another big thank you goes out to the amazing business sponsors who provided parts and services to ready our equipment for the season ahead, including John Deere Seeding Group, Leading Edge Equipment, Green Iron Equipment, Langdon Implement and True North Equipment. We couldn't accomplish this mission without you!

Until next time, stay safe and God bless!

Dan Erdmann - Marketing Communications Officer

FEATURED SPONSOR

FARM RESCUE SPONSOR - First International Bank & Trust

FEATURED VOLUNTEER

FEATURED VOLUNTEER - Michael Ziegler

FEATURED RESCUE

Farm Rescue 2019 - Cleveland, ND