When crops are ready to be harvested, they’re ready to be harvested.
That can be a challenge if you find yourself in the position of Greg Staatz, an Abilene wheat farmer who had broken his leg. His wheat wasn’t going to march out of the field on its own.
That’s when the nonprofit group Farm Rescue came into play. Newly expanded into Kansas, the organization recruited North Dakota and Minnesota volunteers and equipment to help Staatz with the harvest.
"This put an ease on my mind, so there’s light at the end of the tunnel," Staatz told reporter Alice Mannette, of The Hutchinson News. "I’m relieved. We’re getting things done."
Farm Rescue’s mission, according to Mannette, "is to help farmers and ranchers who have experienced a major injury, illness or natural disaster. Since 2006, Farm Rescue has served farmers in North and South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa."
Kansas was a natural — and welcome — next step. For those who work in a trade that depends on the vicissitudes of weather and the hardiness of those who choose it as a career, such help can be life-changing.
But there’s more to this story than a nonprofit’s noble work. There’s more to it than a celebration of out-of-state farmers who trekked to Kansas to help a fellow farmer.
Staatz’ neighbors also turned up to help, lending their labor and equipment.
In other words, good has piled atop good in Abilene. A nonprofit and a community coming together to help one of their own. It’s the kind of selfless spirit that we could all stand to see more of these days — the kind of selfless spirit we could all stand to show more of in our own lives.
How many of us, when we hear that a neighbor or acquaintance is in need, show up to do something? We might think about it, sure. But how many of us will actually bring ourselves to give up our leisure time, drive to whatever location, and put our shoulder to the wheel?
All of those who helped Staatz should be commended. And the rest of us should be inspired by their example. In a time challenged by health and economic turbulence, we each have the power to make positive change. All of us should embrace it.