A Rudyard farmer, who was unable to harvest his fields due to two broken legs, watched from his wheelchair as his neighbors rallied at his farm to help him.
The English philosopher John Locke once said, “To love our neighbor as ourselves is such a truth for regulating human society, that by that alone one might determine all the cases in social morality.”
This rang true for Joe Becker as he watched the line of his neighbors’ combines harvesting the fields he was unable to attend to.
“I had six combines, several trucks, a tractor and all kinds of help today and yesterday,” Joe Becker said Wednesday. “To have those combines lined up like they were cutting their own crops was great. Once they got together, nobody had to tell anybody what to do or ask anybody to do anything. They just did it.”
Becker spent five days in the hospital at Kalispell after falling 12 feet while helping his son build a cabin. He broke the tibia in his left leg, in which 10 screws had been placed, and his right leg had to be set in a cast after developing a hairline fracture and breaking bones in all his toes.
“It was bad timing on my part,” Becker said.
Becker said while he was on mandatory bed rest at the hospital, he received a call from one of his neighbors, who told Becker he had enough to worry about and he would not have to worry about his farm.
Becker said he was told he did not have an option.
When harvest time came around, around 14 neighbors and friends showed up with their own equipment at Becker’s farm about 9 ½ miles north of Rudyard to get to work.
“They did in 2 ½ days what I usually do in seven,” Becker said. “They wouldn’t take no for an answer. It was pretty awesome. It was like something that happens in the movies. I knew I had good neighbors, but you really find out what kind of neighbors you have in a time like this.”
Becker was quick to add that he could not have done any of this without his wife, Jean.
Joe Becker sits for a portrait in his home 9 miles north of Rudyard.
Jean Becker attempted to say through tears how grateful she and her husband were.
“It’s just so nice to have people who are willing to drop everything and help us,” Jean said. “It was so wonderful and we couldn’t appreciate it more.”
“It’s the neatest thing I’ve seen in a lot of years,” Becker said. “I’m eternally grateful for all these great neighbors.
Rudyard area farmers and neighbors Craig, Dennis and Zach Anderson; Nick Moog; Clay Massa; Dan, Terry and David Hybner; Daniel Mikulecky; Jeff Hinds; Ron Larson; Darby Ditmar; Dan Redding and Dick Ditmer all helped to harvest Joe Becker's fields after his accident. All of them were out working on their own farms today, and were unavailable for comment.