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Serving: IN

Neighbors help farm families when needed

Brian Rutledge truck being loaded with harvested grain
BRINGING IN THE CROPS: Many neighbors helped harvest the Williams family’s crops in Hendricks County, Ind., in late fall.
Farmers stepped up to help this family harvest their crops this fall.

A long illness finally caught up with Diana Williams, Avon, Ind. After a long hospital stay, she returned home for hospice care in late fall, and passed away just before Christmas. Her husband, Bruce, and daughter, Angie, were by her side whenever possible during her hospital stay and at home. This commitment, plus an exasperating fall weatherwise, meant that by Thanksgiving, the Williamses still had crops in the field.

A neighbor in Hendricks County spread the word, and many people gathered on the first weekend in December to help continue harvesting their crops. Since part of the Williams farm is surrounded by town, many fields are small. So, there wasn’t one big accumulation of farm equipment in any one field like you sometimes see when neighbors organize to help a family in need. But many people came all the same, and everyone who donated time and/or equipment received a sincere “thank you” from the Williams family.

Those helping included Justin Acton, Randy Webb, Scott Nelson, Mark Kappel, Brian Rutledge, David Hardin, John Hardin Jr., and Dwayne Lundy.

“There were probably many others, and we appreciate everyone who took part,” Angie says. “I was with my mother while they were working, so I didn’t see everything that went on or everybody who made it possible.”

Courtesy of Angie WilliamsRandy Webb, Scott Nelson and Mark Kappel in newly harvested field with equipment behind them

FRIENDS, INDEED: When someone has a big need, farmers show up to help. These were just three of many people who helped harvest crops for Bruce Williams recently — Randy Webb (left), Scott Nelson and Mark Kappel.

Love overflows

These farmers did what farm people do best — rally in a time of need.

“We all know that this is how farmers operate, but the world would be a better place if everyone cooperated like farmers,” Angie notes. “They come together when someone needs help. It’s rather humbling when you’re the one who needs help.

“If you’re part of a farming community, you just don’t have to look very far to find friends.”

Courtesy of Angie WilliamsBrian Rutledge

PITCHING IN: Many farmers, like Brian Rutledge (pictured), took time to help the Williams family catch up on combining and hauling grain recently.

Diane was a nurse. In fact, she was one of a handful of nurses who founded the CardioVascular Critical Care unit at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Diane and one of her close co-workers were farm girls.

“Mom says I’m in good hands because I have the farm community and her family of former nurse and doctor co-workers to look after me,” Angie says. “Like the farm community, this group of people has shown great compassion. To me, it shows that God gives farm folk and those who care for others extra helpings of care and compassion.”

I can bring that full circle, Angie. In November 1994, I underwent surgery to repair a mitral heart valve at Methodist Hospital. At the time, it was major open-heart surgery. Thanks to skilled surgeons, doctors and nurses, I’m in good shape today.

After Angie compared notes with her mom, it’s highly likely Diane was one of my nurses. She lived her life showing compassion and raising her children to be compassionate. When she needed it most, those whom she helped — many of whom farm or are closely tied to farming — were there to show compassion to her.

Comments? Email tom.bechman@farmprogress.com.

TAGS: Farm Life
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