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John_Hart_Farm_Press_Cooperation.jpg John Hart

Cooperative spirit thrives on the farm

This spirit is needed in the nation's big cities.

City folks could learn a lot from the cooperative spirit of farmers if they would only take the time to pay attention. In the Oct. 7 edition of Southeast Farm Press, there is the story of how Northampton County, N.C., farmers and lifelong friends Ben Harris and David Britton effectively share one baling cotton picker for both of their family’s farms.

In June, a story made the news of neighbors coming to the aid of Sedgwick County, Kan., farmer Jerry Hahn to harvest his 550 acres of wheat in one afternoon. Hahn wasn’t able to harvest his crop because he was going through chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer.

According to a CNN Newsource report, 25 of Hahn’s friends and fellow farmers brought in seven combines to do the job for their friend. Hahn said it would take a week and a half to do it by himself and his friends did it in one day. Hahn said it showed how close knit the agriculture community is.

The stories of Harris and Britton and of Hahn show the cooperative spirt is alive and well in rural America. If only that were the case in our nation’s big cities.

Harris and Britton effectively share one cotton picker because of mutual trust and a lifelong friendship. There is no need for lawyers or contracts because of that shared trust. They make it work because they are friends. For Hahn, friends came through during his time of great need.

The stories of rioters looting and destroying private property and disrespecting law enforcement in big cities is to say the least disheartening and frightening. The troubled souls who commit these crimes could learn a lesson from the stories of Hahn, Harris and Britton. If only they would take the time to do so.

With so much discouragement and trouble in the world today, it’s encouraging to find stories of friends helping each other in times of need. Most of these success stories come from farm country. City folks would do well to pay attention.

TAGS: Rural Health
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