Woman driving John Deere combine on community harvest day for a local farmer.

A Community Coming Together and Farmers Helping Farmers

Life happens.

It takes twists and turns and not all of those changes are positive. More often than not, life doesn’t go the way we wish it would. Fortunately, in rural communities, farmers come together to help. Not only within their regional community but within the farming community too.

Within that farming community is FarmHer Taylen Abarr.

Woman driving John Deere tractor in field.

Farming Continues in the Family

Taylen’s start in agriculture begins in her childhood. She grew up in 4-H and FFA but wasn’t always convinced agriculture would be a part of her adulthood. After a weekend touring feedlots in Nebraska with her friend and guardian “Big Jim”, she completely changed her mind. On the way back home, she decided agriculture was in her career path.

In 2013, she started on the farm with Big Jim and her grandma and the rest is history. They both raised her and acted as parents to her more than grandparents. Her roles on the farm include taking care of the cattle, fixing fences, driving machinery, and mowing hay. But after farming with Big Jim for two years, her family received gut-wrenching news.

He was diagnosed with cancer.

Everything changed. Even without him, the farm kept plugging along. Unfortunately, less than two years later he lost his battle with cancer.

The Farming Community Pulling Together

During the harvest before Big Jim’s passing, Taylen received a call from a community member named Darla. She offered to host a harvest day to help their family out.

Women driving John Deere combine and grain cart tractor on a harvest day.

By one Facebook post and word of mouth within the farming community, miraculously 17 combines, 17 tractors, 20 semi-trucks arrived to help. Together, they harvested 526 acres and completed their family’s harvest in one day. The elevator even shut down a whole pit just for their crop so the semi-trucks could keep up!

Besides help farming, others came to bring lunches to the farmers and a local fuel truck provided fuel so that the harvest process ran seamlessly.

Big Jim and Taylen spent the day organizing the harvest and helping farmers as they arrived.

The Sense of Community on Harvest Day

For Taylen, there are no words to describe the feeling of community on that beautiful day. Big Jim was a prideful man who wasn’t fond of the harvest day idea at first. But after watching the love that was sent to him on that day from the farming community, he cried happy tears.

Taylen’s biggest takeaway from this experience is living life in the moment because you never know when something could happen that changes your entire life. Enjoy the time you have with those close to you and live life to the fullest.

Two women standing in a harvest field looking at John Deere grain cart and semi- truck trailer.

Everybody Eats 

Find More Stories at Everybody Eats

We all eat, and that is why farming will always matter.  Everybody Eats is where the stories of food and farming intersect.  

These stories told through my FarmHer lens connect us to our food and more importantly, the people behind it.  

Everybody Eats is a collection of stories of those who protect our rural communities, who grow our food with extraordinary care, and who provide support, education, and assistance to make sure Everybody Eats. 

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