When farmer Trevor Berkan suddenly passed away, his Saskatchewan community rallied together. Seeing as how it would be nearly impossible for his grieving family to finish taking care of the season’s remaining crop, neighbors organized a community harvest to get the job done.
“I didn’t have to put out a message, people came to us,” said one of the organizers, Brennan Leib. “It was unreal the amount of people.”
Posted by Greg Adelman on Saturday, October 19, 2019
Berkan owned the farmland with his father, Allan, who was unable to continue farming by himself. The farm has been in the family for five generations. Leib and another organizer, Dan Zurowski, gathered area people to donate their time and supplies to help the family. Leib estimated more than 50 people and 17 combines came out.
Many volunteers gave up work on their own farms in order to help. With all their hard work, they were able to harvest almost all of the crop by the end of the day.
“I hope we did them proud,” said neighbor Terry Focht.
Berkan, 41, died after suffering an aortic dissection, which is a condition where the major artery carrying blood from the heart tears. Berkan was remembered by the community as a man who worked hard and loved his wife and their four boys, the youngest of whom just began 3rd grade. Berkan also volunteered at his church and with his children’s sports teams. He also drove the Zamboni at the community rink.
After the farming was finished for that day, a local company agreed to transport and store the crop. Some community members have also been filling in Berkan’s Zamboni shifts.
“He was a real great guy and never thought of himself first,” said Focht.
“I know for a fact that if things were different, Trevor would have been one of the first, if not the first to be there to help out a neighbor.”