South Dakota Farming Community Unites to Harvest Late Neighbor's Crops

PHOTO:Members of the Lennox, South Dakota farming community come together to complete the harvest of Dave Klinghagen, who passed away suddenly. Bruce DeNeui
Members of the Lennox, South Dakota farming community come together to complete the harvest of Dave Klinghagen, who passed away suddenly.

A grieving South Dakota family has one less worry as they mourn the loss of a loved one, thanks to the local farming community.

David Klinghagen died of a heart attack on Halloween, Oct. 31, and the Lennox farmer, 52, left behind a field of crops that still needed to be harvested.

So upwards of 30 farmers came together last weekend to honor their neighbor and lend a helping hand by harvesting the rest of his corn crop. Nancy DeNeui, Klinghagen’s sister, told ABC News that a neighbor had started organizing the community harvest within a day of the man’s death.

They took time out of their own busy harvesting schedules, donating their manpower and their machinery so they could help one of their own in the best way they knew how. “It’s a small community,” DeNeui said. “We all stick together.”

Although Klinghagen didn’t have much more corn left to harvest when he died, the farmers who helped were able to finish a week’s worth of work in just one morning.

He had been farming full-time for the past 18 years, taking over for the family farm that he, his mother and his sister lived after their father died.

DeNeui says farming was in her brother’s blood, and this gesture from the community was “unbelievable.”

“It was such a relief, just to have their kind hearts come take care of it for the family,” she said. “It was so supportive.”