Dozens of farmers help son harvest dad’s final crops

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News


A young farmer harvests his dad’s last crop, as folks rally around a local farm family.

Rodney Rauert spent a lifetime farming, until his health took a turn for the worse.

“He’d been sick for almost a year, then started getting really sick here in the last month and took him in the hospital,” his son Jason explained. “He had a fungal infection in his intestines, but they also think someone else was going on but they couldn’t quite figure out what.”

All the while his son kept going.

Brian Quandt said, “Jason’s really gone above and beyond trying to get all the planting, spraying, farming done through the season.”

Five years after losing his mom, Jason said goodbye to his dad.

“65 years old. He was not that old,” Quandt said.

Brian wanted Jason to known he wasn’t on his own, with 400 acres of corn left to pick.

Quandt said, “It’s been a long harvest for Jason with his dad passing away, just want to help him out.”

Word of a harvest bee spread quickly.

Jason said, “There’s people showing up by the minute, pretty overwhelming.”

Around 50 turned out, some from 20 miles away. Quandt works at Green Line Equipment, the local John Deere dealership. He said one issue is the Rauerts planted 36” rows, while most farmers have their equipment set up for 30” rows. But help came, none the less.

Quandt said, “We have seven combines, probably 16 to 18 grain carts, and little over 20 semis hauling to the coop elevator.”

Some battled breakdowns.

“This ain’t good,” one farmer said, with a leak under his combine that took out the steering.

Red and green machines worked side by side.

Quandt said, “This is what central Nebraska’s really about is neighbors helping neighbors, not afraid to get their hands dirty and jump in and give neighbor a helping hand.”

Rod Rauert leaves behind his kids and grandkids, and second wife.

“Rodney’s wife Cathy, she really stepped it up with cattle and helping irrigating,” Quandt said.

What would’ve taken days wraps up in hours.

“By 5:00 it’ll be beer time,” Jason said with a smile.

This is one less thing for him to worry about.

Quandt said that’s why he organized this. He said, “There’s not too many young farmers around. He’s a great guy, he would do this for anybody else.”

His dad’s last crop is harvested.

“To all the guys out there, you have no idea how much I appreciate this,” Jason said.