Behind a mixture of gravel and crop dust, farmers with semis, combines, tractors and grain carts could be seen taking out approximately 600 acres of corn and soybeans. While this may seem like the norm for this time of year, these farmers all had one thing in common: They were working to help a neighbor and friend.
The acreage belongs to Susie Wilson, whose husband, Raymond, died suddenly in July.
What started out as a “handful” of neighbors grew to more than 20 farmers bringing their own equipment to the Wilsons farm Tuesday to harvest the crops.
From the edge of the field, five combines could be seen working in one corn field, while other combines made their way to bean fields. Tractors with grain carts followed close behind, while semis were lined up waiting for their next load.
This idea was formulated by Bill Snyder, Ray Powell and Paul Baker.
“Ray Powell sent out a letter a few weeks ago,” said Wilson, “so it has been in the works for quite some time. I knew they would want to do this, and they knew I couldn’t.”
Some farmers began working on the crops Monday afternoon, and by noon Tuesday, almost all of the crops were out of the field.
“This is what farmers do,” said Wilson as she sat at her dining room table, surrounded by friends and neighbors. “This is what we do in southwest Iowa. This is the way it works here.”
The wives of those helping made lunch, and as they were sitting at the dining room table with Wilson, they unanimously agreed Wilson would have done the same thing for them.
The Wilsons were married for 44 years, had two children and eight grandchildren.
“His death was very sudden,” said Wilson. “He had a major cardiac arrest. Raymond contributed to the donor network, and he gave his corneas. Because of that, two people have sight.”
Wilson called the group of people who had came to help a “community of friends.”
“I just want to thank the community and neighbors, because that is what it is,” she said. “I want to thank them for everything. All of their prayers, and everything, for the past seven years have been with us.”