Everyone who has ever put in an honest day’s work on a farm knows how tough the work can be. From dawn to dusk, farmers tend to chores, feed animals, and harvest crops. If you want your farm to stay afloat, there are no sick days. Then there may come a time where no matter how hard you work, your efforts are nullified by a stroke of misfortune. When embarking upon the journey that is a beginning farm, you were probably warned that it wouldn’t come easy. Sure, sometimes good luck will rain down upon you, but sometimes it will not. Your best milk cow will pass away unexpectedly. The barn will spring a leak and your hay will get drenched and go on to mold before you can feed it, becoming a loss. Your ranch horse will colic.
Sometimes you just need a feel good story to keep you going.
The thing about farmers is that we are a resilient type. Farmers don’t quit. However, sometimes our bodies take unscheduled breaks before the day is done. When something like this happens, that is when we see the true nature of our fellow farmers. Just as Mike Powers, a farmer from Rockwell City, Iowa.
Rockwell City has a population of just over 1,700 people. It is referred to as the ‘Golden Buckle of the Corn Belt’ so it is safe to say agriculture is a way of life in the area. Mike Powers was a contributing member of this community until on fateful day when a heart attack forced him to the sidelines. He suffered this heart attack while attending a wedding reception and had to be taken by Life Flight for medical care. He died on the way but thanks to the care he received is here with us still today.
But do you know what else is here today? Mike’s farm.
You see, in a time when he was down and out, the farming community rose up. Rather than turn a blind eye to the struggle faced by Mike Powers, a group of farmers came to his aid. When Mike had a soybean crop ready to harvest, they harvested it. When corn needed picking, they picked corn. Dozens of farmers showed up ready to roll up their sleeves. They brought trucks, combines, carts, and whatever else necessary to get the job done and they did it without being asked. Although Mike’s main property was in Rockwell City, he also had farmland close to Lohrville and Knierim; those farms were harvested for him as well. Field lunches were served by even more volunteers with the farmer’s did their work. Others yet cut the grass in his yard.
Around a fallen individual, a multitude of farmer’s rallied. They did not have to be asked but instead stepped up to do the duty of one of their own. In the end, it was revealed to Mike Powers that the family of one of the people helping him had actually been helped by Mike himself 43 years prior when medical issues arose. Right before his eyes, good karma was coming full circle and his past good deeds were being rewarded as those who farm farmed for him.
The next time you get up and trudge outside when you’re sick and tired, trying to make your dream of a beginning farm into a reality, remember that there are many people just like you working for that same dream. On the cold, wet days, you are not alone. When you’re riding the highs or lows, you are not alone. When you are a farmer in need, you are not alone. Wherever you are, there is a whole community of farmers who have the same type of days you have, but as a community you get through it together. Just ask Mike Powers.