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Farm Rescue Now Accepting Application for Spring Planting Assistance
South Dakota Ag Connection - 02/06/2009

Farm families in need of crop planting assistance this spring should apply now for help through Farm Rescue.

The nonprofit organization is currently accepting planting requests from farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota, western Minnesota and eastern Montana. Farm Rescue provides planting and harvesting assistance to farm families that have experienced a major illness, injury or natural disaster.

"Last year, Farm Rescue assisted 36 farm families in the region," said Pam Musland, Farm Rescue director of operations. "We plan to assist the same number of families in 2009, but funding is limited so it is very important that farmers apply early to receive top consideration."

Families assisted are selected based on a number of factors, Musland said, including extent of need, farm size, farm viability, and geographic location for moving equipment and volunteers in a timely manner. Applications postmarked by March 31 receive priority consideration.

Each family can receive up to 1,000 acres planted free of charge. Since 2006, Farm Rescue has assisted 67 farm families that experienced hardships ranging from open heart surgery and cancer treatment to severed limbs and the aftermath of a tornado.

"Our mission is to help farmers through a rough period in their lives, so they will have an opportunity to continue a viable operation after a specific crisis has passed," Musland said. "Our work wouldn't be possible without a terrific volunteer labor force, and the many individuals and businesses that support Farm Rescue."

Farm Rescue has more than 100 business sponsors, the newest of which include: Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, Cornerstone Bank, Dynamic Properties, First International Bank & Trust, First Premier Bank, First United Methodist Church of Bismarck, ProAg, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Ryan Chevrolet, Scheels, and Walock-Johnson Insurance, Inc.

For an application or more information, go to farmrescue.org or call 701-252-2017.

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