A Greene County farmer was severely injured in a freak accident earlier this fall. While he was recuperating, neighbors took care of his harvesting. One group worked on his soybeans. Later, another group saw that his corn got harvested.
One of the farmers who helped harvest corn said he considered it an honor to be invited to help his fallen comrade. "That's what we do out here in farm country," says Kerry Graves, Greene County.
Even people who weren't close friends of the family of the injured family showed up to help. It's a time-honored tradition. If someone gets hurt and can't do their work, usually little disagreements are forgotten. The task at hand is to help someone else out. Each farmer who helps notes that if he hasn't needed help already, he will in the future.
When I was young and my dad lay in bed for six weeks with a disease he couldn't conquer quickly, and time to haul manure and plow came around, neighbors pulled in and did the job. They used Ford 8N and Farmall H tractors- this was in the early 1960s. But they left their own fields or barns to come make sure dad could keep his operation going.
Let's hope that even with cut-throat cash rent wars brewing as you read this, farmers won't lose that sense that they are all still farmers. When the chips are down, they will rush to help.