The Good Samaritan Award was created in 2016 to honor individuals who support Farm Rescue with the compassionate heart of the Good Samaritan. That support may take the form of an overwhelming contribution to further our mission, serving as an ambassador for our organization, or going above and beyond as an Angel in Blue volunteer, helping farm and ranch families in crisis. Agnes Liudahl of West Fargo, ND, Reuben Liechty of Jamestown, ND and the Engelstad Family of Las Vegas, NV are all previous recipients of the Good Samaritan Award. This year, our staff and board of directors wanted to pay tribute to those who helped lay the foundation of Farm Rescue during the early years of our operations. And for the very first time, we are honoring 2 recipients with this year’s award.
It seems appropriate to recognize this pair together as they were actually close friends and neighbors for many years prior to signing up as Farm Rescue volunteers. Gene Spichke and Warren Zakopyko spent a lifetime around farming near Kief, ND. Both volunteered in their community and had a passion for helping others, but it wasn’t until they attended an ag expo in Minot, ND that they found a new calling, specifically tailored to their skillset. It was an organization in its infancy, promoting a mission of helping farm families in crisis. Farm Rescue had just completed its first year of assistance operations and the organization’s very first volunteer, Bill Krumwiede, was manning the booth, hoping to recruit some additional do-gooders. He sure hit the jackpot when Gene and Warren stopped by for a visit and decided to sign up together. It wasn’t long after, these two everyday farmers became superheroes in the eyes of many families throughout the region. (Initial video courtesy of Turning Point - BYUtv. Music courtesy of joshwoodward.com and Chris Rice.)