Harvesting can be a difficult task. It necessitates all-day labor and much experience. In this instance, however, it’s even more difficult for the Vanatta family.
In mid-September, Cole Vanatta, 39, perished in a horrific logging accident on his family’s farm in Taber, Iowa. He left behind his beloved wife and three children.
His brother-in-law, Dan Morse, said it was a rough few months for his family.
The Vanatta family has been harvesting the crops on this farm for the past 150 years. Three generations of farmers have worked here in recent years. Cole was the youngest helping to run the farm.
“It’s been passed down. It’s just a generational thing and they take very big pride in their family land,” said Shannon Vanatta.
“He was a good person. He had the biggest heart. He cared about everybody. He loved his family. His kids are going to miss him a lot.” She shared about her husband.
Many acres of crops remained untouched this season, so 50 farmers in the surrounding small towns decided to help.
Dozens of farmers drive the massive machinery in and out of the fields with precision, with four-grain baggers, 15 combine harvesters, and around 25 auger wagons.
These farmers are lifting tons off her shoulders. Knowing where to go, they just said, “I got this,” Vanatta said. “And they took over and it was great.”
Clint Blackburn, the event’s organizer, said the group harvested almost 1,000 acres of land, as reported by California news.
“We had to do this because if this would have been the neighbor that farms over here Cole would have been the guy doing this for someone else,” said Clint Blackburn, Cole’s cousin.
Elliery, Cole’s 14-year-old daughter, says seeing so many people rally around the family is a testament to the kind of person her father was.
“I think it kind of shows how kind my dad was to everyone and it really speaks to who he was to see all these people come together for him,” said Elliey Vanatta.
Shannon realizes how difficult this moment is for her, but she knows a large community behind her.
“I will never be able to repay people for what they are doing today, but I will try,” She said.
According to the Vanatta family, Cole’s memory will live on because of all the individuals who have joined together to support them, reported wowt.
“Friends come out of places you never knew, and the community rallies around when you don’t see what you need or how you need help; they do, and they fill in the gaps.