Farm Rescue: Siouxland Family Gets Harvest Help

Not one, but two battles with cancer made it difficult for the Reeves family to even think about getting into the field this harvest season.

It was a family tragedy that nearly made it impossible for the farm work to get finished, until the Reeves family heard of Farm Rescue.

After 49 years farming, you'd typically find Gary Reeves in the field this time of year.

"My dad loves harvest," said Gary's son Greg, while standing in one of the family fields Tuesday. "(He) Loves getting out in the field and getting dirty I guess you could say."

But Gary can't be out in the field this year. He was diagnosed with bone cancer, a little more than a year after his wife's battle with breast cancer.

"It spread to his liver, basically everywhere in his body, and then recently about two weeks ago, we found that he had cancer in his brain," said Greg. "He's got eight tumors in his brain."

That's where Farm Rescue comes in.

Volunteers with the group hop in the combine and head into the field to help out.

"To be able to combine my love for serving God, serving other people and playing out in the dirt and combining and planting crops, it's a dream volunteer gig," said Farm Rescue Volunteer Levi Wielenga, taking a quick break from running the combine.

Farm Rescue has been helping families plant and harvest for more than seven years, and 200 families later the group still works for free, helping families after major illnesses, injuries or natural disasters.

"We're not here to replace neighbors and neighborly help and do unto others," said Wielenga. "We're just here to provide relief, because we also know that they have their crops to do as well."

As more than 600 acres of corn and beans are finished up on the Reeves family farm near Le Mars, one more family is saying thank you.

"I don't know what I would do," said Reeves. "I could kiss and hug every one of them if I could."

The group's still taking applications for families in Iowa that might need a hand with harvest.

For more information please visit the Farm Rescue web site at:

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