Producers are putting community first this fall
By Diego Flammini
Farmers are known for helping their communities when the opportunity exists.
Here are a few examples of producers putting their neighbors first during the harvest season.
In Hanna City, Ill., area farmers made their way to Kevin Sipp’s farm to assist with harvest.
Sipp, who received a stage 3 colon cancer diagnoses in February 2017, experienced further health declines this year and couldn’t participate in the 2022 harvest.
So, local farmers brought their equipment to Sipp’s farm to harvest 640 acres of crops.
Seeing the farmers come together is a reminder of community spirit, said Dennis Brooks, one of Sipp’s friends.
“It’s just like when you were growing up in the old days if you were shy of something you needed to make a cake, you went to the neighbor and borrowed an egg or whatever,” he told Central Illinois Proud. “The farmers still do that today, it’s a tradition, it’s family.”
In Fort Kent, Me., area farmers helped another producer with harvest after an on-farm accident.
John Roy, a 62-year-old potato farmer, broke his arm in four places while preparing equipment for the upcoming harvest.
The injury required two weeks of hospital stays and five surgeries to repair his arm.
This meant some of Roy’s 350-acre potato crop was in jeopardy of not being harvested.
Local farmers and representatives from Penobscot McCrumb, the potato plant where Roy ships his potatoes to, organized help to harvest the last 120 acres of potatoes.
Farmers didn’t hesitate to help with the harvest because they know Roy would’ve done the same for them.
“If someone leaves 100 acres in the ground that could make or break a farm,” Phil Bouchard, one of the farmers who helped with the harvest, told the Bangor Daily News. “They’re counting on that crop to survive. We know they would do the same for us if the roles were reversed.”
And in Earlville, Ill., a group of farmers came together to harvest the crops of a late friend.
Tom Sampson passed away in August as his corn and soybean crops continued to grow.
When the crops were ready, about eight farmers brought their combines to his farm to harvest 165 acres of soybeans. The farmers will be back to harvest 150 acres of corn when the crop is ready.
The support is overwhelming, said Gloria Sampson, Tom’s widow.
“Every time I talk about it I start crying, they just showed up and took care of everything and got it covered,” she said, WGLC reported.
Do you have a story about farmers helping others this harvest season? Let us know!