Farm Rescue helps farmers & ranchers in need

Since Bill Gross, a native of North Dakota, started Farm Rescue more than a decade ago, the organization has assisted over 500 farm and ranch families. Farm Rescue’s current service area includes the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and eastern Montana. Submitted Photo

Bill Gross, a native of North Dakota and full-time pilot for UPS Airlines, decided he wanted to help farm families in need.

Like so many farm boys before him, his heart had never left his family’s farm and ranch at Cleveland, N.D. And like so many other farm families, his parents encouraged him to leave that farm in pursuit of a better life.

But from a bird’s eye view, flying back and forth across our nation at 40,000 feet, Gross kept looking at the farms below. The changing demographics of rural America – fewer farms, fewer children per family, fewer neighbors – troubled him. And always in the back of his mind, he remembered his father’s concern about what would happen to their farm should anything debilitating happen.

On a long flight over the Pacific Ocean one day, when one of Gross’ co-pilots asked him what he was going to do when he retired, he didn’t hesitate: “I’m going to be this Good Samaritan that buys a tractor and goes around and helps farm families plant their crops.”

That generated some laughter until his co-worker realized Gross was serious. “Well, why wait until you retire?” he challenged.

Since Gross launched Farm Rescue more than a decade ago, the organization has assisted more than 500 farm and ranch families.

Farm Rescue’s current service area includes the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and eastern Montana.

Farm Rescue provides planting, haying, harvesting, livestock feeding assistance and commodity and hay hauling to farm and ranch families that have experienced a major injury, illness or natural disaster. Its mission is to help family farms bridge crises so they have an opportunity to continue viable operations.

One of the biggest financial drains on a family is an unexpected medical injury or illness and, of course, a natural disaster. It is even more pronounced on a farm where a family’s livelihood depends on the ability to plant, harvest or provide for their herd.

Farm Rescue gives families a chance to continue their livelihood by providing the necessary equipment and manpower (free of charge) to get the job done.

A message from founder Bill Gross:

YEAR IN REVIEW – MAJOR MILESTONES ACHIEVED

I’m pleased to announce that we surpassed two major milestones at Farm Rescue during 2017.

We completed our 500th case since our inception and assisted more than twice as many cases in comparison to any previous year (127 families). The year started out with good spring planting weather, but as summer progressed, large parts of our western service area were gripped by natural disasters of fire and drought. We quickly transitioned our normal haying assistance into hay hauling assistance as it became clear that this was the type of service most needed in the midst of the natural disasters.

OPERATION HAY LIFT – HELPING RANCHERS IN MIDST OF CRISIS

Operation Hay Lift was launched to provide much needed hay and hay hauling assistance to ranchers throughout the region. We mobilized a fleet of semi-trucks and volunteers from throughout the nation to make the relief effort a huge success as we hauled hundreds of loads of hay to feed hungry cattle.

LIVESTOCK FEEDING ASSISTANCE – NEW SERVICE FOR 2018

We are proud to announce Livestock Feeding Assistance, designed to provide temporary feeding assistance for livestock when a rancher is unable to complete the work themself due to a major injury or illness. We will mobilize volunteers and equipment as needed to feed livestock while the rancher is recovering.

CONTINUATION OF AGRICULTURAL ASSISTANCE

Farm Rescue will continue to provide timely, high quality planting, haying and harvesting assistance to farmers and ranchers during major illness, injury or natural disaster. We have built upon our accomplishments and sincerely thank you, our loyal donors, sponsors and volunteers, for moving us in a positive direction for 2018. Together, we will continue to provide an avenue of goodness for all who wish to join our altruistic mission to help those in need while at the same time contributing to economic stability for communities throughout the region.

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