Helping hands turned out to be heroes during wheat harvest this year. It was a special harvest, with a special purpose. Washington farmer Larry Yockey is battling stage 4 cancer, which is now in his bones. This was the first year he wouldn't be able to harvest in 50 years.
When local residents found out about the harvest dilemma, dozens of fellow farmers and community members stepped in, wanting to harvest Yockey’s crop for him.
That's when the helping hands sprung into action, ready with machines and manpower, to work the fields and bring in Yockey's wheat crop, which accounts for nearly 100 percent of his income.
Local farmer Jake Klein helped harvest Yockey's crop said a local mechanic was the first to hear about Yockey’s inability to harvest, ultimately orchestrating it all. Klein said the harvest was nearly flawless, a sign it was meant to be.
“Just the logistics of planning one of these from all aspects is amazing,” said Klein on U.S. Farm Report. “Just to be a part of that was humbling. That day all went so smoothly; they had enough equipment and people. Even the fire departments helped and the local bakery brought out donuts. Everybody was involved. It was just a really, really neat experience.”
It was a Sunday, many farmer’s typical day of rest. Instead, several put their exhaustion aside, knowing an area farmer needed help. The local elevator even opened on Sunday, just to accept Yockey’s crop. Klein called it a life-changing experience everyone will always remember.
“It was amazing,” said Klein. “You're just a small part of this huge puzzle that was put together and seeing it all. He had three different fields to harvest, and they had the combines divided up perfectly. The crews and people that came out to help, you just realize you’re a small part of a big picture. And then to see Larry and his family. They were super grateful, emotional and appreciative just with not knowing how they were going to be able to do this otherwise.”
It was a harvest full of heart, with an even better harvest ending, as Klein said the area is seeing exceptional wheat yields this year.