In A Nutshell:
Farm Rescue provides planting and harvesting assistance to farm families that have experienced a major illness, injury, or natural disaster.
Why They Rock:
- Provide the necessary equipment and manpower to plant or harvest their crop, FREE of charge.
- Rolling with Farm Rescue: Annual Fundraiser with gifts from sponsors and the community – Harley-Davidson motorcycle, John Deere mover, plasma TV, Apple iPad, professional sports tickets, and much more!
- Farm Rescue has assisted over 130 families in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana…meet the farmers who have been rescued!
North Dakota brought great surprises: top omelet on tour (cheese on top and inside…having a moment), worked side-by-side with the famous Farm Rescue founder (featured on CNN HEREOS), and drove an $800,000 John Deere tractor!
The Farm Rescue operation magic starts at their headquarters in Jamestown under the diligent and warm duo of Pam and Rita…they got me geared-up in my Farmer Uniform: baseball cap, blue cowboy shirt, and lasso (okay no rope but I ate some Pace Picante). Early next morning I drove to RDO Equipment (mega-giving sponsor) to meet my farm crew: hard-working and respectful Bill, founder of Farm Rescue (actually takes off a whole month from his pilot duties to plant), jolly and tech-savvy Bruce who flew all the way from upstate New York, and a lively reporter from Reader’s Digest documenting this brilliant non-profit.
My first task was Caboose Flasher Guy (probably a more technical term), basically I was security trailing the tractor in a big old diesel Chevy: drive the video…comes with classical music. We arrived to the property of Merlin who is the farmer being ‘rescued’ due to an injury: he was helping a woman out of her car stuck in a snowdrift, and he tore the biceps tendon from his shoulder….he underwent major surgery and is out for six months, ZERO farm work allowed.
We all pitched-in to prepare the tractor for flax domination…lower all the planter settings (shallow for flax seeds), fill the tanks with seed (ate a handful – counterbalance all the Subway sodium nitrate I digest), and drove the tractor under the guidance of Cool Hand Bruce…he taught me the ways of GPS to activate auto-pilot (had a latte, surfed the web, took a nap). After some interviews with the local CBS station and Farm Rescue videographer, generous Merlin brought back monsters subs for lunch to recharge our crew for crop two: wheat.
In the afternoon trucks delivered fresh seed, fertilizer, and gas and we repeated the whole process again…watch tractor video of Bill and Bruce doing a fly-by! Sundown was near and my day was coming to an end, although Bruce was planning to plant until MIDNIGHT and Bill was going to take over at 4 AM! I said my goodbyes to the hard working Rescue crew and got picked up in my 50Give Honda Element who had its own adventure today: battery died while driving, jumped twice, and new battery…thanks to Merlin for the jumper cables, the staff at Robbie’s Repair Shop, and my Dad getting the Element back on the road for Montana!
Bismarck hospitality was supplied by Farm Rescue with a complimentary room at Country Suites which included a giant indoor pool slide and a very informative staff that pointed us to a locals favorite: The Little Cottage Cafe…how can you not love a place that serves breakfast all day!
Visible Results: farmer needs chemotherapy in the spring, Farm Rescue provides planting during their treatment, the farm and family are supported. Farm Rescue understands a family could lose their farm completely skipping a harvest…they keep family farming alive which is best understood in their slogan: “Fourth Generation: We are not about to let it stop there.” Extending the life of a farm is the business of Farm Rescue, extending the life of a farm family is their harvest.
“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.”