Farmers pitch in to help one of their own

Farmers bring in the harvest for a stroke victim
Farmers pitch in to help one of their own

It’s a beautiful day for a fall harvest but not just because of the weather.  Along with a chill in the air, there’s a lot of love in the air at the Holig family’s farm fields.

Normally, Bob Holig, 51, would be busy today, working on cutting down his 300 acres of corn, but things took a bad turn one week ago.

“Friday, dad was going out to combine and he had a stroke out in the field getting ready,” his daughter, Heidi Finucan, said.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride — ups and downs — and we’re trying to just take each day as we can,” his other daughter, Abbie Erickson, said.

The father of three had a major stroke with a blood clot discovered in his brain.  He remains hospitalized, partially paralyzed and still on a respirator.  His family said he has a long road of recovery ahead.  So on Friday, his neighbors gathered and took his place in his fields.

“One of our area farmers lined it up, got everybody together, and it’s nice to be a part of it,” neighbor Jim Walsh said as he worked a combine on one of the Holig’s fields.

Walsh is one of 15 area farmers putting their own harvests aside to help out a family going through a rough time.

“He’s a young farmer, and it’s just a terrible thing that happened to him,” Walsh said.  “It’s just a matter of everyone wanting to help out as much they can.”

The help isn’t just happening in the fields.  Even the town cafe and the local grocery store are donating food to feed everyone who’s helping.

“People that mom and dad have done business with for a long time have really stepped up to make sure these guys get fed today and show their appreciation for what they’re doing today,” Finucan said.

Holig’s kids said they know he would want to be there, and they say he will be there next harvest.  For now, the family said it is overwhelmed with the support it’s received, and they say they’re praying for their dad’s speedy recovery. 

“Just seeing how much dad’s loved and how much he takes care of other people, too.  What he’s done for other people is coming back to him now,” Finucan said.

Holig’s family said he had emergency surgery earlier this week to relieve the swelling on his brain from the blood clot.  They hope to have him off the respirator late Friday or sometime this weekend, and then recovery and physical therapy begins.

The Holig family said it’s eternally grateful to everyone who came out Friday to help with the family farm’s harvest.