Sheboygan County farmer harvests neighbor’s crops hospitalized with Covid-19

SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) – When a farmer in Sheboygan County received Covid-19, his neighbors did what any good friend would do. They put aside some personal work to harvest crops when he was hospitalized.

Dave Obbink addresses a crowd of celebrities gathered in a field in Cedar Grove.

Obbink knows he has a lot to be grateful for, including his good friends and his health.

“My wife and daughter said it was time to go and I was right,” he said of his decision to go to the hospital when he received Covid-19.

That was in October. Obbink was hospitalized, with most of his crops still in his fields.

That’s when his neighbors stepped in to help.

“Everybody knows Dave,” said farmer Jeff DeRuyter. “Dave is a regular in the community and we’ve heard he’s sick and needs help.”

And they helped. 17 farmers pause harvesting to bring back soybeans and corn for Obbink.

As for Obbink, who initiated it remains a mystery.

“No one would say they made it together, because they would never get credit for anything,” Obbink said.

But DeRuyter says there are plenty of hands on deck that make the job easy.

DeRuyter recalls: “It was the fastest rate I had ever seen when many acres of land expanded over a period of time.

Retired farmer Bob Caljouw also participated.

“I had a blast. It was just fun,” Caliouw said with a laugh. “I think about 44,000 bushels of corn were harvested for Dave that day. Worth about 200 acres.”

It’s also a sight to behold in Cedar Grove.

“There was another combination. There was a red combination. There was a green combination, and suddenly there were six combinations,” Obbink said.

DeRuyter said it stopped traffic.

“There were cars that slowed down and stopped on the side of the road just to take a look,” he said.

All those complexes line up side by side, but then also all the other people and machines needed to get the job done.

“They took off 200 acres in one day with six or seven combinations and semicircles, grain carts and wagons, and got people who had just come out of the lumberyard to bail me out and help with this,” says Obbink. ,” said Obbink.

“There could be 68 people, different people, transporting corn to the dryer,” Caliouw added.

Obbink had been home from four days in the hospital to watch them bring in the corn.

“I was just sitting there on the couch, sitting on the arm of the couch watching, and tears just kept running down my face. I said, I can’t believe these people would do this,” he said. remember.

But the way they see it – how could they not? That’s what neighbors do.

“Everybody knows everyone their whole life. Like I said, I grew up here, only about a mile and a half, about a mile and a half, two miles from where we are now. to Dave and everyone after me here for the rest of my life,” DeRuyter said.

They know Obbink will do it for them too.

That’s how he wanted it.

“They say, that’s what we do,” Obbink said. “I said, I know, but it’s easier to do it than for you.”

But the farmers say it’s all not work.

DeRuyter said: “It’s really fun to be able to meet people and work together that way, and it makes one guy feel so happy that we can help someone in need.

Obbink says he is slowly recovering from his Covid match.

He will be there to help next time.

“Everybody in this community and this area, you know they’ll be there if you need them,” DeRuyter said.

To see photos of all the farmers and their equipment in the field, check out Country Vision’s Facebook page at National Perspectives Cooperative.

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