Farm Rescue will combine the crops of farmers who need help this harvest with a new John Deere header purchased with money donated by the Engelstad Foundation.
The Engelstad Foundation earlier this year gave Farm Rescue $975,000, most of which was used for equipment purchases.
“It’s the largest grant they’ve awarded and the single largest grant Farm Rescue has ever received from a single foundation,” said Bill Gross, Farm Rescue president and founder.
Besides the header, Farm Rescue used the money from the Engelstad grant to purchase a John Deere 4-wheel drive tractor and part of another tractor.
The Engelstad Foundation, a private Las Vegas-based foundation, has donated a total of $1.49 million to Farm Rescue during the past several years, Gross said
Gross founded Farm Rescue in 2005 to help farmers or ranchers who have experienced a major injury, illness or natural disaster with planting, haying or harvesting of their crops. There is no cost to the farmers and ranchers for the help from Farm Rescue.
In past years, the Engelstad Foundation donations to Farm Rescue have helped with purchases of semi-tractor trailers, Gross said.
“They’ve been very instrumental in capital purchases for Farm Rescue. Without their help the last few years, we wouldn’t have been able to help as many farm families,” Gross said. ”Betty Engelstad, herself, grew up on a farm and she has a heart for farming and helping people in the area.”
In recent years, Farm Rescue has not received donations of large equipment like it did in the past because margins are tighter, he noted..
Farm Rescue expects to help more than 100 farmers and ranchers this year, Gross said. Farm Rescue mainly helps farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, but also does about 20% to 25% of its work in Montana, Nebraska and Iowa.