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U.S. ag community reflects on 9/11
U.S. ag community reflects on 9/11

U.S. ag community reflects on 9/11

2017 marks 16 years since the attack in New York City

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

Sixteen years ago today, the world’s focus shifted to New York City as high-jacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center.

The images of the towers collapsing and first responders rushing towards the buildings are forever engrained in memories more than a decade after the events. asked members of the American agricultural community to reflect on where they were as the day unfolded.

“I heard about (the attack) on the radio as I made my way down to pick corn along the Delaware River,” Willie Hughson, president of the Sullivan County Farm Bureau in New York, about 95 miles away from Ground Zero, told today. “But once I got down there, I didn’t have any (reception), so lunch came early that day (so that I could follow the news).”

Like Hughson, other farmers were in the middle of harvest when the news came across the radio.

“I was chopping corn silage the day that (attack) happened,” Doug Bloom, vice president of the Branch County Farm Bureau in Michigan, told “I was listening to the radio and at first people might have thought it was an accident. But, before too long, you realized it wasn’t an accident and you were just sitting there in disbelief that something like this could happen.”

Wally Congdon, vice president of the Montana Cattlemen’s Association, Lake County’s deputy civil attorney and a law professor, also found out about the situation in New York during harvest.

“I was in a tractor baling hay on the side of a hill when the first plane hit,” he told “I listened to the radio the whole day.”

And some producers, like Harmony Savoia, president of the Albany County CattleWomen’s association in Wyoming, found out about the events in New York during the morning commute.

“I was on my way to work in Colorado and was just getting on the highway,” she told today. “I had to pull over and call my husband and my parents to tell them to turn on their radios.”

Albany County is about 27 hours away from where the World Trade Center stood but everybody felt as if they were in New York on Sept. 11, she said.

“Even though it was so far away, it hit so close to home,” she said. “I kept looking at the mountains for the whole week wondering if we were going to see something coming at us. It was terrifying.”

High-jacked planes also crashed near the Pentagon in Washington and near Shankville, Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.

Nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the attacks on that day.

Top photo: The New York Harbor prior to the attacks of 9/11/grafficx/iStock/Getty Images Plus