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NASA employee uses his vacation to help Grafton, N.D., farmer

Grand Forks, N.D. - When a local farmer fell on hard times, Farm Rescue came to his aide.

And one of the volunteers is very unlike the others.

A group of volunteers are doing what doctors say Thomas Hartje can't.

Thomas Harje, Farmer: "I have no warning when the seizures come. They could hit me right now and I'd be lying on the ground."

Among the hard-working helpers?

Clay Robertson, Farm Rescue Volunteer: "when I left work, my boss told me as he approved my vacation, 'you're the only person I know who takes a vacation to go work'."

“My day job? I work down on the Redstone arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. I am on the space center that is there on the arsenal itself and I'm helping designing the next vehicle that will hopefully take us to Mars,” says Robertson.

Putting Mars aside, Robertson traveled more than 13-hundred miles for a new mission.

Robertson: "Well I think it's a worthy cause. Having been brought up on a small farm it's been impressed upon me the need for the farmer and the fact that the farmer perhaps doesn't get as much kindness as he needs. So this is my way of trying to give back."

While farming a North Dakota field with dad isn't as riveting as what the folks at NASA are doing, in many ways, making memories like helping Harje is just as important.

The Robertson’s and the rest of the Farm Rescue Volunteers spent two weeks helping farmers in our area.

If you'd like to help with Farm Rescue or if you need help, click here.