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Published May 22, 2009, 06:24 AM

Farm Rescue plants for two farmers in the area

Lifelong farmer Pete Seefeldt was diagnosed with a tumor on his kidney on April 1. “I was scared more than anything about the cancer,” Seefeldt said. Next came the worry that he might not be able to seed his fields for the first time in his life. “I was worried about getting the crop in and getting work done,” Seefeldt said.

GRAND RAPIDS, N.D. — Lifelong farmer Pete Seefeldt was diagnosed with a tumor on his kidney on April 1.

“I was scared more than anything about the cancer,” Seefeldt said.

Next came the worry that he might not be able to seed his fields for the first time in his life.

“I was worried about getting the crop in and getting work done,” Seefeldt said.

That’s when his brother, Curwood Seefeldt, contacted Farm Rescue and asked for help.

“I was aware of the program that was available and I thought it would help my brother’s situation,” Curwood said.

Even though most of Pete’s farmland was under water, Farm Rescue still came out and planted 72 acres of soybeans on Thursday.

“You see them feel good and that makes you feel good,” said Lowell Rothmann, a Farm Rescue volunteer.

Using state-of-the-art machinery provided by RDO Equipment, Rothmann and fellow volunteer Clarence Kuss were able to seed the land in less than three hours, Kuss said.

Normally they can plant half an acre a minute, Rothmann said.

“I feel really good that I am helping farmers,” he said.

And helping farmers is exactly what Farm Rescue does, said Pam Musland, Farm Rescue director of operations.

“We offer planting and harvesting assistance to farm families that have experienced a major injury, illness or disaster,” she said.

The Seefeldt farm in Grand Rapids was the seventh farm Farm Rescue helped in North Dakota so far this year, Musland said.

Later on Thursday, Farm Rescue moved north to Kensal, N.D., where they planted their eighth farm of the year, Rothmann said.

Pete Seefeldt said he was persuaded by his brother and a neighbor to seek assistance through Farm Rescue. Last year his neighbor was mauled by a cow and suffered broken ribs and a broken collarbone, he said.

That neighbor went to Farm Rescue for help and got his seeds planted, Seefeldt said.

“(Farm Rescue) is a good way of giving back and helping people in need,” Rothmann said.

So far this year Farm Rescue has planted seven fields in South Dakota, three in Minnesota and eight in North Dakota, Musland said. Before the planting season is over there are two more fields planned in Minnesota and two in North Dakota, she said.

“It makes me feel good that there is somebody out there that is willing to help people,” Seefeldt said.

Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at brodgers@jamestownsun.com

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