Farmers to the rescueLEMMON, S.D. — A Farm Rescue crew will finish planting spring wheat for farmers Joe and Kathy Zorc tonight.
LEMMON, S.D. — A Farm Rescue crew will finish planting spring wheat for farmers Joe and Kathy Zorc tonight.
The crew consisting of retired farmers Gene Spichke, Charlie Bartsch and Warren Zakopyko arrived at the farm outside of Lemmon on Thursday with a goal of planting 900 acres of spring wheat by tonight.
The crew was sent to the Zorc’s farm and ranch after an application submitted by the Zorcs was approved.
The Zorcs needed assistance planting because Joe Zorc was injured in a calving season accident in March.
Joe and Kathy Zorc had just separated a calf from its mother and were attempting to bring the cow home when the cow spooked and ran in the wrong direction.
In an effort to get the cow back on course, the couple chose to divide and conquer. But their plan went awry when Joe ran over a manure pile to cut the cow off.
Joe misjudged the steepness of the hill and also stumbled over a frozen cow pie. He fell and broke his tibia and fibula.
Joe came home from the doctor with two plates in his leg and sporting a cast. He also received instructions to rest and not bear any weight on his leg for seven to eight weeks.
“It hurt when I fell,” Joe said. “I am glad I went to the doctor. I really didn’t think I had broken it, but sure enough. When I heard that it was broken all I could think about was, what are we going to do we are in the middle of calving and spring planting is just around the corner.”
A few of Joe and Kathy’s friends and neighbors had the answer.
“A few of our relatives, friends and neighbors that were helping us suggested that we call Farm Rescue,” Kathy said. “At first, we decided not to. Then one of them came to our house with the forms and said fill it out or I will fill it out for you,” Kathy said.
Joe said part of the reason they did not fill out the forms at first was pride.
“I didn’t want to trouble them,” Joe said. “There are lot of farm families that could use the help too, and I thought well there has to be some way I can get it done myself plus some of our neighbors were helping.”
Joe said what tipped the scale was their friend coming over.
“He argued with me in a good way and said, ‘Joe they are here to help farmers and if they can help you, you should accept it, so we have,” Joe said.
“I’m just glad to help,” Spichke said. “The Zorcs are good people, and being a retired farmer myself I can respect what they are going through.”
Spichke said he decided to become a volunteer about five years ago.
“Warren and I were at a farm show in Minot last year and knew a gal working at the Farm Rescue booth,” Spichke said. “We kinda talked it over and decided to sign up for a few weeks in the spring and it just grew from there.”
Spichke and Zakopyko said they enjoy volunteering because it allows them to farm again without the stress of having their own operations.
“We can just help out and spend some time in the field while doing something good for someone else,” Spichke said. “It’s just a good way I can give back.”
Since the accident Joe has gone through physical therapy and is now in a boot.
Kathy said Joe has a hard time keeping still.
“I’ll come in the house and he’ll be up and moving around,” Kathy said. “A few times I have even seen him outside trying to take care of stuff and I’m like ‘What are you doing? The doctor told you to rest! You need to go back inside and get your leg up or it will never heal.’”
Kathy added Joe follows her instruction and, when he thinks she isn’t looking, will take a peak at how his leg is healing and announce, “It’s looking better.”
“I look at him and say ‘Gee, ya think Joe?’” Kathy said. “All I can do is shake my head and pray.”
Joe said he has a hard time keeping still because he wants to help.
“I am so use to running all the time it’s hard to just sit in a chair and watch because I think of what I could be helping with,” Joe said. “And a guy just gets bored and antsy. We are raised to work hard and not be lazy.”
The trio of volunteers agree with Kathy and say Joe needs to rest.
“We are here to help,” Spichke said. “Joe’s job is to get better.
The volunteers say despite a few minor glitches and machinery malfunctions the planting has gone well.
“Joe and Kathy, their son Preston (their daughter Kaylee is studying for finals at Dickinson State University) and their neighbors have been helping us quite a bit,” Spichke said. We should be able to finish what we came here to do. Then it will be on to the next project.”