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By Echo Menges
Near the end of September, Gerald Sharp, 92, of rural Edina, didn’t know how, or if, he was going to be able to get his crops harvested. His son and partner Jim Sharp, 61, developed an infection, which led to a long hospitalization.
For many years, Jim harvested his father’s acreage, but this year would be different.
“Jimmy has been working with me since he got out of high school. He’s been in the hospital about three weeks. Jimmy done it all up till now,” said Gerald Sharp.
“I went over to the feed store (NEMO Feed in Baring, MO) and talked to Lewis (Burkholder) about it. He got to talking to James (Burkholder) and they put it together,” said Sharp.
“James called me and I said, why don’t we make an event of it?” said Leonard Burkholder and the plan to get Sharp’s crops out of the field emerged.
By the time it was time to harvest Sharps 110 acres, which are spread across three sections of land located north and west of Edina, a lineup of farmers and equipment was procured.
Between them, the generous friends and neighbors included Raymond Sr., Raymond Jr., Leonard, James, and Lewis from the Burkholder clan, Michael Huber, Mitch Penn and others bringing in five combines, one grain car and two tractor-trailers.
Many hands make for a faster pace and the team of farmers were able to cut down the time it took to harvest Sharp’s beans.
“By ourselves, a lot of times, it took ten days to harvest these fields,” said Sharp.
The day it was harvested by the do-gooding farmers, Thursday, October 15, 2020, it took around six hours.
“These boys are stopping in their fields to help us out,” said Sharp. “We really appreciate it.”
The farmers received only appreciation for their trouble and Sharp insisted on filling up their tanks before they left.
“I really appreciate the boys. Jim does, too,” said Sharp. “Make sure you tell everyone how much we appreciate these boys.”
Don’t worry Gerald, we will.
The tradition of farmers helping farmers in Knox County is well documented throughout over 150 years of archives of The Edina Sentinel. It’s our pleasure to report, this tradition is alive and well in Knox County.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors – The photos above show a small group of farmers getting out the crops of Gerald Sharp, 92, of rural Edina. Sharp is shown (bottom right) looking on with gratitude to the farmers who helped harvest 110 acres of soybeans in fields north and west of Edina. After Sharp mentioned not knowing how, or if, he was going to get his crops out. Not long after Sharp’s son Jim took ill and was hospitalized, these farmers pulled together and got the crops out for Sharp on Thursday, October 15, 2020. The above photos show the efforts of Raymond Burkholder, Sr. (bottom center on the right), Raymond Burkholder, Jr., Leonard Burkholder (top right), James Burkholder (bottom left), Lewis Burkholder, Michael Huber, Mitch Penn and others we were unable to name. This is a time honored tradition among farmers throughout the Midwest of friends and neighbors helping each other through hard times. Photos by Echo Menges