Farmers Put Own Work on Hold To Finish Harvest for Neighbor After He Suffered Heart Attack


Farmers are survivors because they have to be. Bad weather, drought and personal injury can all cripple a harvest, and many farmers live year-to-year as they break their backs working to provide enough food for the rest of us.

Lane Unhjem, a farmer of canola and durum wheat near Crosby, North Dakota, experienced a near miss recently when dealing with an emergency on his farm.

Unhjem was working on putting up his harvest recently when his combine caught on fire. He was working to put it out when he started to experience a heart attack.

Thankfully, he had the good sense to determine that something beyond stress from fighting the blaze was plaguing him, and he was rushed to the hospital.

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But while his condition stabilized as he began his recovery in the hospital, his crops sat ready to be harvested with no farmer to harvest them.

Realizing that their fellow farmer was in need, local farmers banded together to put up Unhjem’s work. One of those farmers, Don Anderson, shared a post on Facebook to explain just what those kindhearted farmers did.

“Approximately 40 to 50 farmers, driving combines, pulling grain carts, driving semis and various other harvest related items, converged on the Unhjem farmstead and they will take care of harvest for Lane and his family today,” Anderson shared on Saturday. “I believe there was about a dozen combines involved.”

According to KFYR-TV, in all there were about 60 farmers, 11 combines, six grain carts and 15 semis in attendance — and they got the work done, harvesting 1,000 acres in just seven hours.

Jenna Binde, a family friend, said that the word got out and spread like wildfire and it wasn’t long before farmers and equipment owners were offering up their time.

“I talked to a couple of farmers, got their equipment, and then other people just started calling and we had equipment offered from all over the place in the county, and their workers to go with it,” Binde explained.

“Everybody knows the Unhjems, and they’re good people and good in the community, and just kind of the farming way of life too. You help your neighbor out when they need it, and don’t expect anything in return.”

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Now Unhjem can rest knowing that his season’s work is safe and sound, and he can focus on getting better for the next round.

“The Unhjems have a beautiful crop that will be safe in the bins today, and more importantly they have the comfort of knowing that they have a community of friends that are helping, praying and doing whatever they can to help them get through this tough time,” Anderson added.

“What a great sense of pride we can all have knowing that when we face something like this, we’re not alone.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking