Injured North Dakota rancher overwhelmed by support

Farm Forum

McCLUSKY, N.D. (AP) — It’s a daily duty many ranchers take for granted — and sometimes even complain about.

Matt Fischer would gladly be out in the tractor, versus watching from the sidelines.

“November 10, I thought I would maintain the stack mover and oil the chains and get it ready for winter,” he told KX News.

“I was oiling the chains and one of the couplers caught my coat, pulled me in and flipped me over. Before I knew it I had no chance to get away. It had amputated my arm, and then I still had my leg, but it had chewed it up pretty bad. I was able to crawl out from underneath there and jump in the pickup and get back to mom’s and call for help.”

Now half of Matt’s cattle live here at his in-laws, while the other half are spending the winter at a neighbor’s house.

“Once it all happened, it was a lot of phone calls taking place and a lot of friends and neighbors helping out. Just wanting to help,” said Kim Saueressig, Fischer’s brother-in-law.

Fischer said the community support has been overwhelming.

“I don’t have any words. I know the cows are in good hands and I don’t have to worry about it. It helps me get better and helps me heal when I don’t have to worry about it,” he said.

People from Mercer, Turtle Lake and McClusky have helped, Saueressig said.

“It’s not just one community, it’s three now. The outpouring of support is fantastic, it’s been the amount of thanks we can’t even say enough about — combining corn and taking care of the cattle and just the help that Matthew and Becky have been able to get has just been outstanding.”

With an upbeat attitude and plenty of determination, Fischer doesn’t plan on watching from the sidelines for long. He’s waiting for the day the doctor gives the OK to be back in the tractor and out with the cattle.

“With the help of neighbors and family, I think we will be able to do that. That’s our goal. To keep farming and to keep the cattle,” he said.