Friends of an Iowa farmer who died in July came together to help with his final harvest.
The Daily Nonpareil reports that 59-year-old LaVerne Burck died after being diagnosed with lung cancer, leaving his daughter Jessica Burck about 1,300 acres in Pottawattamie County, south of Council Bluffs.
About 30 of LaVerne Burck’s friends and members of the farming community teamed up to harvest corn and soybeans on the farm, which has been in the family since the 1870s, and some donated equipment for the job. A few area businesses provided fuel for equipment.
The volunteers began the harvest Sept. 8 and have nearly finished. Burck was known for planting and harvesting early.
The homestead has 160 acres, including 75 farmable acres.
Burck grew up on the land, and farmed alongside his father from a young age. He started school at Iowa State University, but lasted one semester before returning home to continue his love for farming.
“He tried the whole college thing,” his daughter said. “His dad asked him, ‘Do you want to stay up there or come back?’ (LaVerne Burck) answered, I wanna come back.’”
Jessica Burck also grew up helping her father on the farm and works there full time, but she said she couldn’t have coped without the volunteers’ help. Without that, “I would still be trying to get the combine to work,” she said.