‘It’s what we do’: Community helps Garden Plain farmer harvest crop after cancer diagnosis

Local

GARDEN PLAIN, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas farmer recently diagnosed with cancer feared he may not be able to harvest his crop this year. Thanks to the community of Garden Plain, that farmer’s crop was harvested in only a few hours.

On Jerry Hahn’s nearly 550 acre farm in Garden Plain, this wheat harvest will be his last

“I’ve decided it’s bout time to quit,” said Hahn.

The third-generation farmer decided to retire earlier this year and sell his land. Then the pandemic hit forcing him to push back his plans. Not long after, he was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer.

“On the bad weeks when I have chemo, I wouldn’t be no where around here. I would be in bed. It kicks me pretty good,” said Hahn.

The treatments left him wondering how he would accomplish the tall task of harvest.

“Week or two later, I talked to another guy and said I hope I get my wheat cut and he said ‘oh don’t worry there’s a couple of us neighbors who might come help you,” said Hahn.

They did more than help. Close to 20 people showed up on Wednesday with eight combines ready to work.

“Jerry Hahn’s been my best friend since I was 4 years old,” said Gene Koester, volunteer farmer. “We all hate to see what’s going on with Jerry. He’s the nicest guy you ever want to meet.”

“We’re just a small-town community all coming together to help a friend out,” said Cody Leis, volunteer farmer. “It’s what we do around here.”

A small town displaying its big heart.

“There’s no way I can repay these guys,” said Hahn. “Thank you, words can’t really describe what I can say. I’m just overwhelmed.

Hahn has several more rounds of chemotherapy to go. He plans on selling the farm later this year.

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