Sunday, November 27, 2016

A harvest of neighborly love

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. -- Steve Wollyung was about to harvest the final 100 acres of his farm this month when his 4-year-old granddaughter Ayla became trapped in the hay wagon. She died from her injuries. Because of this tragedy, a harvest seemed unlikely until neighbors heard about Steve's need.

A family friend called a few farmers who were done harvesting to ask for their help. Word spread, and more than 60 farmers from several counties offered to donate time and equipment.  The fleet of combines, semis and grain carts were in the fields by 10 a.m. Friends and neighbors donated sandwiches, soup and snacks. Despite his grief, Steve said he was "totally shocked" by the generosity of his fellow farmers. "I couldn't believe it when I saw everyone show up to help," he said. Working together, they harvested over 18,000 bushels by 5 p.m. Steve said it would have taken him a week. Said one of the volunteer helpers, "It felt so good to help them. They are a wonderful family. We all know Steve would drop everything to help us."

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