The final harvest

What’s happening here? Farmers being farmers.

Over in Racine County, Wisconsin, Art Green, 64, was killed in a farm accident last Friday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

He hadn’t yet brought the harvest in.

So, yesterday morning, about 50 neighbors gathered at his farm, awaiting their assignments.

By last evening, they’d harvested 35,000 bushels of corn over more than 200 acres, work that would have taken the family weeks to complete, the paper says.

Throughout the morning, donations of food poured in, and the farmers’ wives, daughters and female friends assembled a feast to feed the crews when they returned from the field. The contributions went beyond food. A local company donated all of the fuel for the day. And the nearby grain company, DeLong, closed itself to other farms Wednesday so it could focus exclusively on the Greens’ crop.

It was a deeply emotional day for Green’s widow, Rose, and her children.

His daughter Val wept in the arms of Karen Birchanich, a family friend, as the farmers headed into the fields, and another, Anita, watched as the farm vehicles crisscrossed the fields.

Rose Green, who watched the work from the family’s home, “is so grateful, so touched,” said her sister-in-law Diane Fliess, whose husband and son were working in the fields.

“She is just devastated. Her heart is broken,” she said.

Pete Green sat with his wife and small son in an all-terrain vehicle watching as an auger poured corn into the bed of a truck driven by Weis.

“It is wonderful to see,” Pete Green said before breaking down in tears.

Arthur Green’s brother-in-law, Randy Vosberg of East Troy, called the gathering “a sign of respect for someone who gave so much to the community.”

“He had a lot of friends,” Vosberg said. “And this is their way of giving back.”