Bill Gross is a pilot by trade but his heart never left the farm.
That is why the founder of Farm Rescue was at the Darrell Goodman farm near Rhodes Wednesday afternoon.
Gross and six volunteers from across the United States were helping Goodman harvest corn.
The Goodman family of Rhodes is shown on the family farm Wednesday. From left, Darrell Goodman, his daughter-in-law Dawn, grandson Drake, 5, son Matt and grandson Dawson, 3, and in front daughter Marlene and spouse Marge. In the background is a Farm Rescue combine and truck used to help the family harvest a portion of its corn crop.
Goodman had a fall a number of months ago, broke several ribs and is still recovering.
He qualified for assistance from Farm Rescue, which was glad to help.
"It was great to see the team work by Farm Rescue and know that there are many good people around who will leave their families to help out," said Dawn Goodman, Darrell's daughter-in-law.
Gross, a native of Cleveland, N.D., said the Goodman farm was the first project in Iowa for Farm Rescue.
"At Goodman's we harvested approximately 60 to 70 acres," Gross said. "We could not have done it without our volunteers and donated equipment."
Volunteers from Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa helped out, he said.
Farm Rescue has two more Iowa harvesting projects scheduled this fall, one in Milford and one in Le Mars.
Headquartered in Jamestown, N.D., Farm Rescue is a one-of-a-kind, nonprofit organization founded in 2005 by Gross.
The organization uses volunteers from across the United States and RDO Equipment Co. machines to provide free planting and harvesting to farm families during an unexpected crisis.
Several nationally known companies are sponsors.
The organization has planted and harvested crops free-of-charge for nearly 200 farm families in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa since its inception.
"It is important to get the word out about our work so farm families can take advantage of or service," he said. "We have the capacity to help more farmers this harvest season. However, we urge folks to submit their applications as soon as possible."
"It is not a hand-out - we don't give money - it is just help," he said.
Contact 701-252-2017 or farmrescue.org for more information.