Fortune Found in Flyover States
Nightly you can turn on the television and view the insulation in trees, piles of rubble or local officials giving updates on clean up. But what you won’t see on the big screen is the spirit that rallies behind the rural communities during times like this.
“We got up Saturday and went and checked our barns, then we drove around to see who needed help,” one Co-Alliance employee said in conversation this week.
Clayton Kinsler, Kinsler Farms in Clinton County, Indiana, reflects about the way the community rallied behind their family when a their farm was lost. “Watching the community step in and help our family has been humbling. Amidst the shock of the damage from the tornado, we have been overwhelmed by the support from neighbors, fellow farm families, our extended family and the local community in general. It has made a devastating event much more manageable. I don’t know how we can ever give enough thanks to these folks.”
Can you spot the Kinsler Farms combine?
The Co-Alliance Herbst team gathered in the neighboring town of Swayzee, Indiana on Monday to lend a helping hand to community members following Friday night's tornado.
“In most cases our neighbors are people we have known our whole lives. We know their names, their kids' names, and their dog's name. They are there for us in a time of need. The least we can do is be there when they have a need. It's just what good neighbors do,” said Bruce Horner, YieldPro Specialist at Herbst.
These middle of nowhere, fly-over states.
The fortune we write of is found in rural Americans.
Where there are rural Americans, you'll never go hungryWas the machinery shed taken down by the 130-mph winds? Rural Americans will stop by with casserole, paper plates and a bucket loader.
Do you have a new baby? Rural Americans will stop by with casserole, pie and box of diapers.
Did a tree fall on the fence closest to the county road? Rural Americans will stop by with casserole, a chain saw and an empty truck bed ready to be loaded.
Where there are rural Americans, you'll never need a high-tech home security systemRural Americans have made a reputation of keeping a watchful (curious?) eye on the community. They're the first to call you when they see a suspicious vehicle parked over by the shop, sure to ask why the vet truck was at the barn for three hours last Monday and always reach out when they don't see your daughter's minivan at the house over Christmas.
Where there are rural Americans, you'll never "not know"As long as there are sale barns, kitchen tables, high school basketball games, church bulletins and farm auctions, word will get around. Folks in urban America may have high speed internet and TikTok but they'll never have the ability to push a message out to an entire community faster than the rural American main street diner.
Where there are rural Americans, you'll never go withoutRural Americans supply the help when needed, sometimes in the form of a cargo trailer, sometimes in the form of a 14-year-old able-bodied son who is willing to work, sometimes in the form of a quarter cup of sugar. Rural Americans give when they can, where they can, and however they can.
Where there are rural Americans, you'll never go alone
Rural Americans don’t ever call to see if they can help. They simply show up and get to work. They block roads and bring gloves. They fill dumpsters and pile tin. They pick up nails and lift spirits. Sometimes, they just sit and listen.
There is fortune to be found in our beloved fly-over states, and it is each other. What an advantage we have to live in a world where we don't have to hire moving trucks because we have friends with trucks and trailers.
We don't have to send Honey Baked Hams from some warehouse 2,000 miles away because we have a freezer full of farm fresh pork and a recipe card from Mary Jane's Kitchen, 1981.
We don't have to fight life's toughest moments alone, because we have Rural American neighbors, friends and strangers across the countryside eager to help.