November/December 2019 - 8

Office 616-887-9008
fter a wet spring caused planting delays in Idaho - and just
about every other potato-growing region in the northern
U.S. - the last thing farmers wanted to see this fall was an early freeze.
They certainly got it and it came in the form of
the hardest of hard freezes.
In the days leading up to Oct. 9, when the
Zeke Jennings
Managing Editor
forecast called for temperatures to fall below 15
degrees overnight, Idaho growers were scrambling
to get their crop out of the ground.
Some beat the freeze with a day, or even just
hours, to spare. Others did not.
As the hours ticked away toward the impending
freeze, farmers couldn't do anything to warm Mother Nature, but they
certainly warmed hearts with acts of selflessness.
Numerous stories were told by local television stations and
newspapers of growers sending equipment and crews to help other
farms save their crop.
One notable such situation happened near the small town of Hamer
in eastern Idaho, when word spread that Brett Jensen Farms' crop was
in trouble.
Several neighboring farms responded, as well as members of the
community. Among the helpers was Jason Larson, part of the crew
at Silver K Farms. As a convoy of trucks and tractors drove toward
Jensen's property - while it was snowing - Larson pulled out his
phone and videotaped the scene. Later, once the work was done and
Jensen's crop was safe, Larson shared the video to his Facebook page.
His followers began sharing it. Then their followers began sharing
it. Within hours, it was viral. Within days, it was being covered by
national media outlets, including Fox News.
When I reached out to Larson to get more details on the video, he said
he was surprised the video had gotten so popular so fast. His reasoning:
" That kind of stuff happens all over the U.S., but it's never recognized. "
That's especially true in the farming community.
Farmers tend to be humble people,
humbling profession. You are at the mercy of so many uncontrollable
circumstances, none bigger than the weather. When things go awry for
another farmer - even though it might technically be a competitor -
they don't hesitate to help.
That's inspiring.
Journalists are not trained to see stories in terms of positive or
negative, only newsworthy or not. " Positive " or " negative " is how most
non-journalists view the news, however, and they do thirst for a break
from the perceived negative.
That's why videos like Larson's go viral. As he put it, " People want
to see good.
Managing Editor Zeke Jennings, 616-520-2159
Contributing Editors Gary Pullano, 616-520-2144
Stephen Kloosterman, 616-520-2152
Digital Content Director Ana Olvera, 616-520-2171
Mulitmedia Designer Greg Ryan, 616-520-2145
Production Assistant Samantha Orsi, 616-520-2148
Editorial Board
Randy Hardy, Oakley Farms, Oakley, Idaho
Don Sklarczyk, Sklarczyk Seed Farms, Johannesburg, Mich.
Harry Strohauer, Strohauer Farms, La Salle, Colo.
Robert Thornton, Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.
Integrated Marketing Andrea Schafer, 616-520-2139
Editorial Director Tim Hodson, 616-520-2161
Creative Director Kristina Howell, 616-520-2168
Group Marketing Director Melissa Gray, 616-520-2153
Custom Content Manager Jess Schmidt, 616-520-2141
Circulation Becky Stovall, 616-520-2138
Billing Sally Ostman, 616-520-2136
CEO Matt McCallum
CFO & Director of Deb Carnes, 616-520-2169
Human Resources
COO & Director of Kimberly Baker
Custom Media
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November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November/December 2019

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