Farmers can’t take sick leave, so when an emergency comes up, they’re sometimes in danger of losing a year’s crop, putting their entire livelihood in jeopardy. That’s when Farm Rescue steps in. Farm Rescue’s founder Bill Gross worked as a pilot before returning home to North Dakota, where his family had lost the farm he grew up on after a financial setback. In 2005 he started the nonprofit to provide help to farmer’s struggling with illness or natural disaster.
Farm Rescue has helped 250 families in North Dakota, South Dakota, eastern Montana, Minnesota and Iowa. The non-profit provides donated equipment and organizes its over 700 volunteers to make use of the seed, fertilizer, and fuel the families provide. Families can contact Farm Rescue for help, but half of the time concerned farmers hear about a neighbor’s troubles and anonymously recommend them for help. “We provide the equipment and manpower, and we get it done for them,” Goss told David Karas of the Christian Science Monitor. “We are basically a big, mobile farming operation.”
“We are helping to make it more likely for future generations of family farms to be able to continue,” Goss told Karas. “That is what I actually find the most satisfying.”