Ranchers lend hands, trailers to family in need
TAPPEN, N.D. -- A group of Kidder County, N.D., farmers and ranchers spent their Memorial Day helping out a family in need by hauling cattle to pasture.
TAPPEN, N.D. - A group of Kidder County, N.D., farmers and ranchers spent their Memorial Day helping out a family in need by hauling cattle to pasture.
Kidder County Sheriff Barry Vannatta says Larry Olson, 66, died May 27 in a farm accident.
Olson farmed and ranched in the Tappen area along with his son, Justin. According to Olson's obituary, he and his wife, Debbie, were named Rancher of the Year by the North Dakota Stockmen's Association in 1998. He was active in his community and quick to help when others were in need, community members say.
"He was always willing to lend a hand," says Pat Mittleider, also of Tappen. "Just a good guy."
At the time of Olson's death, the family had cattle ready to go to pasture. Mittleider says a group of eight or nine local producers pitched in on Monday to haul 76 pairs to pasture.
"They're our neighbors, and they needed help," he says. "It's just what we gotta do."
Mittleider says the "wheels are in motion" for a number of producers to help the Olsons with a number of upcoming tasks, including some seeding, spraying and walking additional cattle to pasture.
When tragedy strikes in a small town, it shows how close a community is, says Mittleider, who describes Justin Olson as "like a brother."
"People keep their faith, and they bind together," he says. "It's like family."
Olson is survived by his wife, Debbie, his son, Justin, his daughter, Ashley Klocke, and five grandchildren.