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Area farmers quick to help neighbor in need

After it was learned Ray Geyer was stricken with a heart attack, it didn’t take long for the word to get out and for neighbors to respond.

8/18/15 (Tue)


Helping hands... Part of the crew of more than 20 neighbors and friends from the Coulee, Donnybrook and Kenmare areas who pitched in with their time talents and equipment to assist the harvesting effort the benefit of Ray Geyer, are from left; Lee Stroklund, James Murphy, Terry Johnson, Jon Michalenko, Bruce Johnson, Kevin Borud, Keith Graff, Doug Miller, Gary Kringen and Dave Miller. 

By Marvin Baker

After it was learned Ray Geyer was stricken with a heart attack, it didn’t take long for the word to get out and for neighbors to respond.

Seven combines, six trucks, two grain carts and a bagger showed up on the Geyer farm Friday morning at 10 a.m., near Coulee and began harvesting 580 acres of spring wheat that was partially swathed and partially standing.

By 4:30 in the afternoon, the job was wrapped up.

In addition, the volunteers were fed and beverages were readily available on the second of three consecutive days in which the temperature hit triple digits.

Three combines straight cut wheat and four gobbled up the swathed grain. The two grain carts were constantly running in an attempt to keep up with the high octane combines.

Bruce Johnson, who brought the bagger and drove one of the trucks, helped organize the event. He certainly didn’t need a sales pitch to get the necessary help needed.

Johnson said several producers actually abandoned their own harvest on Friday to help their friend in need.

He said Matt Borud of Gooseneck Implement informed him of Geyer’s heart attack. Borud told Johnson Geyer was worried because two thirds of 580 acres was swathed and with a possibility of severe weather on Saturday, Geyer was worried about the crop.

Johnson told Borud he would call the neighbors.

A grassroots spirit of neighbor helping neighbor took over at that point.

“We’re all good friends with Ray,” Johnson said. “He’d have done the same for us. Three or four left their own grain to come and help.”

Pete Stroklund, who works for Burke-Divide Electric, was on scene shuffling truck drivers back and forth, helping to make sure the combines kept rolling and the operators kept hydrated.

“This is what we do for nice guys,” Stroklund said. “We help them out when they need it.”

Burke-Divide furnished all the cold beverages on a hot day, according to Stroklund, because Geyer is a good friend and a Burke-Divide customer.

Dave Miller, who was operating one of the combines swathing wheat, said it was an impressive sight to see as you could look in a circle from the Geyer farm and see all the activity.

“There’s seven machines out here,” Miller said. “So we are sailing through it pretty fast.”

According to Johnson, the drier grain was dumped into a 13,000-bushel bag near the farm and the grain that had some moisture, was trucked to the Renville Elevator Co., in Tolley.

“We hauled it to Tolley and the elevator worked with us and accommodated us,” Johnson said. “That’s another thing Ray didn’t have to worry about.”

Johnson said the yield of the spring wheat was good and the quality was good and it was the perfect day to harvest grain. The temperature in the field peaked at 100 degrees and the humidity hovered around 18 to 20 percent. The wind blew out of the southwest at about 25 miles per hour.

Johnson said the harvest bee actually got started on Thursday night when Dave Miller and Matt Borud picked up about 70 acres to make the Friday run a little easier and more time efficient.

Stroklund and Johnson both said Geyer, Kenmare, is recovering and staying with his daughter in Bottineau.

Johnson said he called Geyer’s daughter with a progress report and she was very appreciative of the work and told him her father was doing OK.

Combiners were Pete Graff, James and Tom Murphy, Jerry Johnson, Dave Miller, Doug Miller, who operated Geyer’s combine and Kevin and Matt Borud, who brought a combine out from Gooseneck Implement in Kenmare to assist.

Jon Michalenko and Gary Kringen were probably the busiest of anyone, running grain carts in and out of the fields, trying to keep up with the flow of the grain.

Harvey Steinberger, Curt Graff, Bruce Johnson, Cory Murphy, Roger Hanson, Miller Grain Cleaning, J.D. Schalk and Frank Anderson either drove truck or furnished trucks for the day.

Bruce Johnson brought the bagger and Lee Stroklund was operator.

Jodi Olson, Cori Stroklund and Sharon Graff fed the troops and Pete Stroklund had a pickup truck from Burke-Divide full of pop and water for the thirsty harvest crew.

“I want to make sure Pete’s daughter (Brenna Stroklund) gets recognized,” Bruce Johnson said. “She was so good about running bottles of water out to the guys. Really, we appreciate everyone coming over to help.” ... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!