About 40 people worked together to harvest grain at the Berkan family farm
By Diego Flammini
Several farmers from Southey, Sask. put their own harvests on hold to help another farm family during a difficult time.
Trevor Berkan, a local grain farmer, passed away on Oct. 9 at the age of 41, leaving behind his wife, four sons and 1,000 acres of unharvested land on his 3,000-acre farm.
After Berkan’s passing, members of the community started to contact one another about helping his family finish harvest.
About 40 volunteers went to the Berkan family farm on Saturday with combines, grain carts and other equipment to help with harvest.
“We lost a pillar in our community,” Dan Zurowski, a local farmer, friend of Berkan’s and organizer of the community harvest, told Farms.com. “With fall being the way it is, farmers are kind of in a bind with getting their crops off, so we decided to pitch in to help the family because they’re such good people.”
Farmers brought 17 combines, 17 semis, eight grain carts and other equipment, Zurowski said. Some families donated money for fuel, and a local grain elevator saved enough space for the crop in its storage facilities.
The volunteers didn’t harvest all of the remaining acres but what’s left “is manageable for the family,” Zurowski said.
This display of community support is common in farming communities.
“Everybody knows everybody,” Zurowski said. “And if one of us needed help, we know that Trevor would be ready to help any way he could. It says a lot about farmers and small communities that even though we have harvests to complete, when a local family needs help, we will always answer the call.”