Herald JournalHerald Journal, Nov. 1, 2004

Farmers lend helping hand

By Kendell Kubasch

Scott Youngren of Waverly had an aching back for some time, but that ache became something more early on a Sunday morning late in September.

That morning the displaced disc in his back went one step further and ruptured.

After spending five hours in the emergency room, he was told surgery was to be scheduled for a week later and to just rest until then.

After the surgery, (which was very successful), he was again told to do ‘little or nothing’ for the next six to eight weeks. This all sounds peachy except Youngren is a dairy farmer and this is the harvest season.

In true ‘Minnesota Nice’ fashion however, the roar of combines and the smell of grilled hamburgers filled the air on Scott and Kim Youngren’s farm Oct. 21 when friends and neighbors joined forces to harvest field corn.

Members of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Howard Lake men’s group, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and more than 13 area farmers worked through the mist and filled three of the family’s five silos with high moisture corn.

Everett Boehlke, Kevin Gruenhagen, Merlyn Lutter, Dennis Yeager, Mike Young, Pat and Patrick Salonek, Jerry Uniedt, Dan and Dale Sawatzke, Ron Boehlke, and Roger Heuer all donated time and equipment to the cause.

The men’s group, along with matching funds from Thrivent, donated and prepared food for the laborers and also provided more than $1,000 worth of fuel for the equipment.

Berwin Schmidt also spent that day driving tractor for the Youngrens. Berwin can personally relate to farm accidents. He lost an arm at a very young age in a farm accident more than 50 years ago.

He doesn’t let that slow him down however. He jumps from the tractor seat to the wagon, drops the shoot and fires up the blower without missing a beat.

A late start due to the moisture, and a few equipment problems slowed progress, but work continued until late in the night.

Youngren will be back to 100 percent in a few weeks. His family and friends will see to that.

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