HANNA CITY, Ill. (WMBD) – A community comes together to help harvest a local farm, it’s a story that makes us proud of central Illinois.
For 51 years, those who know Hanna City farmer Kevin Sipp best say his heart has always been farming, helping his family farm in more than one way.
“He’s like all farmers, from electrical wiring to plumbing to mechanical work,” said Dennis Brooks, a friend of Kevin Sipp.
In February 2017, Sipp was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer but continued to work. Unfortunately, over the past few months, his condition has worsened.
“It’s just to the point where they can’t do anything for him anymore. So it’s just about keeping it comfortable and giving her wishes as best you can,” Brooks said.
One of his wishes is to keep the family farm going.
On Monday, dozens of farmers and community members donated their time and equipment to help harvest 640 acres at Sipp Farms.
“You didn’t need to call, they called you. I mean we have a long waiting list that is several pages long, in case someone breaks down,” Brooks said.
Brooks said the community harvest shows what farmers are still doing and it’s mutually supportive.
“It’s like when you used to grow up, if you were scared of something you needed to bake a cake, you would go to the neighbor and borrow an egg or whatever. Farmers still do it today, it’s a tradition, it’s family,” Brooks said.
One of Sipp’s daughters, Abby Oedewalt, said the support for her father was nothing short of heartwarming.
“To see everyone coming out to love and support him and Sipp Farms is something you’ll never see again, it’s amazing,” Oedewalt said.
Kevin’s wife, Willa, said she was very grateful to those who came to grant her wish.