John Deere is aware of how hard agricultural producers work to sustain their bottom lines while keeping food on the table for their families. This is also why Farm Rescue was created back in 2005, and Deere has never been prouder to be involved in such a program. The mission of Farm Rescue is to help family farms and ranches tackle crises when they arise. By doing so, operations can continue, and income issues are diminished.
A True Farm Rescue
Garrett McFadgen has never had any issues when it comes to tackling tasks out in the field, until recently when he was seriously injured. A group of heavy panels fell on McFadgen, resulting in the shattering of his T-12 vertebra and some of his ribs. He also sustained injuries to his right leg, but luckily, his spinal cord had remained intact.
When field operations manager Luke Benedict heard about McFadgen’s unfortunate luck, he knew he needed to take action.
Rallying the Troops
Benedict is responsible for training volunteers and ensuring that everyone is prepared to take on large farm equipment. In addition, he makes sure that they can tackle everything from planting to harvesting out in the field. Benedict brought in Matt Blaylock, Chris Batdorf, Chris Davison, and Jeff Barnes to help with McFadgen’s land. All four of the men were working at John Deere headquarters in Moline, IL at the time and this was their first Farm Rescue volunteer job.
“Usually, I put them with a volunteer who has experience working for Farm Rescue,” Benedict said. “All four of these guys are new.”
Despite the challenges ahead of them, the volunteers were able to keep McFadgen’s farm in working order while he recovered. The crew had an ample amount of knowledge on operating John Deere machinery, which came in handy.
Blaylock says that it’s not uncommon for retired John Deere employees to volunteer with Farm Rescue. Perhaps the inclination to continue operating heavy machinery after retirement will provide Farm Rescue with even more volunteers in the years to come.