Volunteers across the Midwest help save Minnesota farmer’s harvest

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 6:07 PM CDT
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GEORGETOWN, MN (Valley News Live) - Harvest season is a chaotic time for farmers. Anything from bad weather, to broken machinery can bring operations to a halt.

But for one Minnesota farmer, Tom Odegard, his season was put in jeopardy after he ruptured a tendon in his leg in spring.

“How in the world are we going to get everything done? It’s my livelihood and I’m sort of by myself with the family,” said Odegard.

With the severity of his injury, Odegard’s harvest season and future were left up in the air.

“It’s tough to ask for help,” admitted Odegard. “I was hoping I could be ready to do things by then, but as I am now, I can’t. I can’t even push in the clutch pedal.”

However, Odegard is getting some help in the field from volunteers across the Midwest thanks to Farm Rescue, an organization that helps farmers and ranchers struck by illness, injury or natural disaster.

It’s an experience that saves farmers, and their families. It also gives back to the volunteers.

“It’s very rewarding,” said Mike Wilson, a volunteer of 7 years. “It’s fun to work with the other volunteers. You get to know a lot of people really well.”

“Well I tell you what, you just don’t feel any more joy in your life than helping somebody like that. It just brings joy. I call them tears of joy,” added Mike Youngblood, a volunteer of 6 years.

Andy Wittenburg, a volunteer of 12 years, stated, “Appreciation. That’s the biggest thing. Appreciation from one end to the other. They’re just overjoyed.”

The help is something Odegard can’t praise enough, and he says it’s something he’d like to be on the other side of some day.

“It’s just amazing what they’ve done with this farm rescue. I could see myself doing it. Pay it back, you know? I look forward to doing that one day,” said Odegard.

Youngblood concluded, “They really appreciate it, but you’re helping somebody that needs help. We’re blessed to be a blessing. It’s what we do.”

If you’re a farmer or rancher in need due to hardship, you can apply for assistance from Farm Rescue here.