Farmers in Illinois will be eligible for support beginning in 2023
By Diego Flammini
A non-profit organization which helps farmers get their crops in or take them off has added another state to its service map.
Starting in the 2023 planting season, farmers in Illinois will be eligible to receive assistance from Farm Rescue.
Farm Rescue, which Bill Gross, a North Dakota native, founded in 2005, helps families who have experienced injury, illness, or natural disaster.
The organization also helps with hay baling and transport, and livestock feeding.
Since its inception, Farm Rescue’s reach has extended to seven additional states – Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota.
And as of 2021, Farm Rescue has helped a total of 747 farm families.
Support from citizens and ag businesses have made this kind of expansion possible, Gross said.
“Farm Rescue is very thankful for the unwavering support from our family of sponsors in helping us grow our service area,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to extending a helping hand to many farm families in crisis throughout the state of Illinois.”
In 2021, Farm Rescue and its 239 volunteers put forward 6,230 volunteer hours to help 62 families (46 cases for planting and/or harvesting and 16 cases for hay hauling).
The Focke family from Rexord, Kan., was among them.
While Chad Focke battled esophageal cancer, his wife, Mandy, contacted Farm Rescue for help.
Volunteers arrived on the Fockes’ farm in June 2021 and finished wheat harvest in two weeks.
“Farm Rescue has been a lifesaver. The quality of work that they’re doing is exceptional. They’re treating it like they were doing their own and kind of like it’s their family that they’re coming to help,” Chad said, Farm Rescue’s 2021 annual report says.