Friends work to bring in crop of farmer who died

Farm Forum

WESTHOPE, N.D. – Rural residents near the northern North Dakota town of Westhope have spent the weekend harvesting grain planted by a farmer who died in a traffic accident this summer.

Friends of the late Robert Morrison worked from noon Saturday until a rain delay in mid-afternoon. The volunteers hoped to finish the approximate 225 acres of barley on Sunday.

”He was a good neighbor,” Lance Romine, one of the event organizers, said of Morrison. ”He was always willing to help us out whenever.”

Morrison, 49, died June 23 in Minot after colliding head-on with a driver who had made a U-turn in the street.

Volunteers arrived Saturday with five combines, two carts and four semi-trucks Saturday, The Minot Daily News reported. One of the neighbors, Dwight Ommedal, had swathed the grain before the combines arrived.

June Schultek, a family member of Morrison, said she and her two sisters were aware of Ommedal’s offer of help, but were surprised when an entire crew showed up. None of the sisters farm so it was only with the help of the neighbors that they would have been able to bring in the crop, she said.

Romine said the turnout came as no surprise to him because of the kind of neighbor that Morrison had been.

”It’s just something that when he passed away, we knew we were going to have to do,” he said.

Romine added that Morrison would be pleased with the threshing bee because one of his biggest thrills in life was harvesting. He also was a custom combiner.

”The more combines and grain carts and semis, the more fun he had,” Romine said.