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Farmers in Illinois help one of their own

Farming community helps harvest 450 acres of corn

By Diego Flammini,

In the ultimate act of kindness and togetherness, about 40 farmers came to the aid of a fellow farmer in need.

Carl Bates, a farmer from Galva, Illinois, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and as his health began to deteriorate, his cousin Dan became concerned about Carl’s 450 acres of corn and how it would get harvested.

“(Dan) spoke with one of Carl’s neighbours and it all just exploded from there,” says a Facebook post submitted by Jason Bates, another of Carl’s cousins.

About 40 other farmers and friends showed up at Carl’s farm on September 25th, armed with 10 combines, 12 grain carts and 16 semi-trucks.

Together, they harvested all 450 acres of corn in 10 hours when typically harvesting that amount of corn can take nearly a week.

At the time, Carl had enough strength to thank the community for their help.

Jason Bates said Carl is currently in hospice care and if the corn needs to be sold in order to cover the medical expenses, then that’s the route they’ll take.

Farmers aren’t opposed to lending a hand to one another when needed:

  • Earlier in the year, Jurgen Kohler, a farmer from Manitoba donated 100 round bales of hay to farmers in Western Canada dealing with hay shortages.
  • 17,000 tonnes of hay was donated by Ontario farmers to cattle producers in Western Canada in 2002. A decade later, farmers from the west reciprocated the gesture.
  • Farmers in New South Wales (Australia) donated about 500 tonnes of hay to their farmer colleagues to help with low quantities of hay.

Join the conversation and tell us your thoughts about the farming community coming together to help one another. Were you one of the farmers who helped in Illinois? If so, what was the experience like?


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