Nobody wants an accident, illness, or natural disaster to interrupt their farming operation, but it does happen. The mission of an organization called “Farm Rescue” is to help farm and ranch families in crisis. Volunteers will come in with equipment to give vital assistance with planting, harvesting, hay baling and livestock feeding.
Lynne Hinrichsen is the development officer for Farm Rescue. She says you can apply for help on their website, farmrescue.org. Once it’s submitted, you’ll usually get a response within 48 hours and there is no charge for the service.
"We have the gracious benefit of multiple donors and sponsors that help us supply the equipment and pay for the expenses. Usually what we ask of the farm or ranch family, since a lot of people are independent and don’t want anything totally for free, we just ask them to top off our fuel tanks when we come through," says Hinrichsen. "But they assume all the input costs and everything just like it was their operation, we’re working for them."
Volunteers come from all walks of life. They are retired farmers and ranchers, pilots, pastors, and equipment dealers. How long they stay to help is determined on a case-by-case basis.
"A lot of times in the planting or harvest sectors and the hay baling we will do up to 1,000 acres, so however long that takes because we all know most of those parts of farming are weather-driven," she says. "The livestock feeding, we’ve done cases up to two weeks, going in there where someone’s out of commission. Sometimes we focus also on the physical as well as mental health issues that may plague a family."