We all have our trials and tribulations as we traverse this experience called Life. Once when I was struggling mightily with issues seeming to be beyond my control, my mother gave me a poem called Don't Quit. I would like to share with you the first few lines, as it pertains to the story at hand.
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're travelling seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit---
Rest if you must, but don't you quit!
Today's story is about an organization called Farm Rescue. Their mission is to help farmers and ranchers who have experienced a majorsetback by providing the necessary equipment and a volunteer workforce to plant hay or harvest their crops, among other chores they can lend a hand with. Livestock feeding assistance is also available for ranchers.
Farm Rescue offers assistance to farms in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota. The Farm Rescue program also provides longer term assistance solutions to farmers and ranchers who have suffered major illness and injuries , or who have been through a natural disaster.
The Board of Directors will review all requests for assistance, and approves cases based on each unique situation. They see what they can provide with their available funding and volunteer manpower. They have several sponsors in every state that help with lending equipment, and donations of time and money. Private tax deductible donations are also gratefully accepted.
These selfless acts of kindness are helping all of us to survive. Think about it. Without our farmers, we wouldn't have food to eat or clothes to wear. The more we help each other, the bigger the ripple effect. Something as simple as offering time to help a neighbor get his crops planted or harvested when he is unable, or sharing a donation of money to pay for seed or gas.... in the long run it is helping more than just one person.
John Deere Company is one such provider. They offer state of the art equipment to help get the jobs done. They travel thousands of miles to deliver the equipment and train the volunteers how to use them. It is a partnership that has helped almost 1,000 farmers in need so far, and there is no end in sight. What a comfort that is when one is in need!
One man who has helped through Vlogging (video blogging) calls himself the Millennial Farmer. He started a podcast several years ago so people not familiar with farming could see the work that goes into raising the crops and livestock that we all consume, and hopefully correcting some of the misinformation going around, painting farmers and ranchers in a bad light. "I just wanted to share the truth" , he says. He has volunteered on many projects to help other farmers when he is needed.
One such farmer is John Thomas. John has a condition that causes neuropathy in his legs. He and his wife Judy live and farm in the Faribault area. They have 6 grown children, Elizabeth, Phyllis, Maynard, JW, Nathan and Travis. About 11 years ago, John suffered his first amputation from this disease, and just recently had to have his other leg amputated as well. It is a disease with no cure. John heard about Farm Rescue, and they were able to help him harvest his crops this year. He is very grateful, and wants to help get the word out about this unique program that does so much for so many.
I asked him what kind of qualifications a person would have to have to be able to lend assistance. He said they take volunteers from all walks of life. If training is needed, they are trained in whatever aspect is necessary to help the families in need. One of the people who helped in John's case was a DJ from Minneapolis. One was a police officer. Of course people who have a valid CDL license are needed to haul equipment from project to project, and anyone who knows farm work is a valuable contributor. But all you need is a desire to help others, and you can be a volunteer.
To contact Farm Rescue for any reason, their address is Farm Rescue PO Box 28 Horace North Dakota 58047. Their email is email@example.com, and their phone number is (701) 252-2017. Personally, I think that anyone who can write a story for any kind of publication to spread the word about these services would be helpful, and volunteers are always needed. And as I stated previously, all monetary donations are tax deductible, so there's a win/win situation as well.
I would like to thank John for bringing this organization to our attention, and wish him and his family a joyful holiday season.