Helping friend in need isn't a lost art

Monday, November 12, 2001

The recent harvesting bee organized by friends to help area farmer Bob Nitsch had to have brought back memories to those old enough to remember when farmers routinely got together to help each other plant, harvest or complete other farm chores.

Nitsch, of Jackson, was hospitalized and worried about harvesting 130 acres of soybeans near the Diversion Channel.

But there was no need to worry, for Gerald Bryan, Cape Girardeau County extension agronomist, and Gayle King, a retired extension agronomist, were way ahead of him.

They and seven others gathered at the soybean field at 10 one morning and had the beans harvested and to market by noon.

No wonder.

They brought six harvesters and a half-dozen trucks. All of this made short work of the task, cutting a 142-foot-wide swatch across the field in each sweep.

Nitsch, former president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, has been farming in Cape Girardeau County for many years. Just last spring he planted a crop for an ailing friend.

The harvesting bee is a refreshing example of how things used to be, and how helping others hasn't become a lost art.

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