The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher
Around 40 farmers, neighbors, and friends pitched in to help Biggsville's injured farmer Steve Giertz, harvest his 2012 corn crop this past week.
Giertz was injured this past summer when sheets of steel sheeting fell on him during a grain bin construction project at his farm.
Farmers came from far and near with a smile on their faces and determination to help someone in need.
They brought 12 auger wagons ranging from 700 bushels to 1200 bushels per wagon, over 24 semis and 14 combines ranging from nine 8-row corn heads to three 12-row corn heads.
The grain was hauled to the Giertz storage facility east of Biggsville where Steve was injured.
Corn yields were reported as very good and well above expectations. Some fields around Steve's house reported at 200-220 bpa. There remains corn up around New Windsor yet to be harvested, but the Giertz Brothers want to wait awhile on it to dry down further.
The soybean harvest has not yet been developed, but plans are for it to progress as soon as organized volunteers can prepare themselves.
The harvest was particularly helpful because of Steve's accident and his combine, auger wagon, and trucks were not in the state of repair to be useful due to Steve being laid up from the accident most of the summer.
Because of limitations of farm storage, unloading the corn harvest was engaged over a 5 day period at different and various locations.
Pioneer and Becks Seed dealers were helpful with trucks and Beck Seed through Cardi Allaman, and CMC for bin construction, brought out pizza for the operators for noon meals.
West Central F.S. donated $5,000 to be applied toward fuel expense for use in machines used in the harvest. Midwest Bank and Tri-Oak Feed are planning an appreciation meal for all workers later on.
Those helping with the Giertz harvest were as follows:
Twelve combines: Ray and Glen Johnson, Terry Davis, Matt Gavin, Curt Schrock, Rodney Martin, Clark Kelly, Brad Flatt with two combines and operator - Danny Brown, Dean Hennenfent, Bruce Wolf, Dan, and Matt Defenbaugh, Jim Purlee, Brian, Brad, and Gerald Clark with 2 grain carts, Cail Evans.
Twelve auger carts: Terry Davis and son Adam, Ray and Glen Johnson, Jim Darrah, Joyce Wolf, Brad Flatt with three carts and drivers Jay Brown, Rhonda Flatt, Duane Forquer, Robert Randall, Paul Gavin, Alice Defenbaugh, John and Dan Green, and Jim Purlee.
24 Semi trucks: Brad Flatt (nine semi's) with drivers Chris Webb, Craig Carnes, and son-in-law Todd Woodberry; Terry Davis and son Adam and driver Richard Heaton; Kennard Kirchner driving Charlie, John, and Dan Green's truck, Gary Shaw for John and Dan Green, John and Dan Green, Jim Purlee, Jim and Tom Missavage with driver Brad, Brian, and Jerald Clark, Pat Dunbar, Richard Youngquist, Andy Brader, Curt Siegle. and two spare standby trucks from Big River Resources.
Steve's son Jacob and Steve's brother Greg and his wife unloaded the trucks at the bin site and tested the grain.
Coordinators for the whole five day affair were Jim Purlee, Les Allen, Dan Defenbaugh, and Matt Defenbaugh,
A separate fund has been set up at the Midwest Bank of Western Illinois for Steve Giertz to help defray the Giertz harvest expenses by those physically unable to help in person due to schedule conflicts and distance to travel. Over $17,000 has been donated to date with contributions still coming in. All are welcome.
Les Allen and Brad Ray of Midwest Bank of Western Illinois at Monmouth are handling donations for this account.
The generosity and loving help of friends and neighbors of Steve Giertz is typical of the spirit we share in our rural communities.