"What a great sense of pride we can all have knowing that when we face something like this, we're not alone," Don Anderson said of the sweet gesture

By Joelle Goldstein
September 21, 2020 04:01 PM
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A North Dakota farm
| Credit: Getty

A group of neighbors in North Dakota are showing their support for a farmer who suffered a heart attack after his combine caught fire while he was harvesting crops.

Lane Unhjem was using the machine on his farm near Crosby earlier this month when he suffered the medical emergency and was rushed to a Minot hospital, according to a Facebook post from one of the neighbors, Don Anderson.

While Unhjem was in the hospital, Anderson said about 40 to 50 farmers came together to help the beloved farmer finish his efforts, harvesting a total of 1,000 acres of crops in a little over seven hours.

"Now that Lane's health is being taken care of, it came time for his friends and neighbors to spring into action, which is common in small town life," Anderson explained in the post, which has since gone viral and shows the large group standing together in the fields.

"The Unhjems have a beautiful crop that will be safe in the bins today, and more importantly they have the comfort of knowing that they have a community of friends that are helping, praying and doing whatever they can to help them get through this tough time," Anderson continued. "What a great sense of pride we can all have knowing that when we face something like this, we're not alone."

According to NBC/Fox affiliate KFYR, Unhjem typically harvests durum wheat and canola at his farm — and neighbors knew letting those crops remain unharvested after Unhjem's heart attack would've been a major loss for his family, both personally and financially.

"Everybody knows the Unhjems, and they're good people and good in the community, and [it's] just kind of the farming way of life too. You help your neighbor out when they need it, and don’t expect anything in return," family friend Jenna Binde told the local outlet.

Because of that collective mindset, it wasn't long before neighbors jumped into action, showing up to Unhjem's farm with 11 combines, six grain carts and 15 semis to get the job done, KFYR reported.

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"I talked to a couple of farmers, got their equipment and then other people just started calling and we had equipment offered from all over the place in the county, and their workers to go with it," Binde told the outlet.

After the sweet gesture, Anderson wrote on Facebook: "You reap what you sow! Thats the old saying that can apply to a lot of things in life. Well, today it has a two fold meaning — harvesting crops and helping friends ... Kudos to all those that helped today."

Unhjem was expected to recover, though the process will be lengthy, his family told KFYR.