Deceased farmer’s friends and neighbours harvest his crop

Friends and neighbours of a Stornoway district farmer who died in a farm accident in August, assembled last week to harvest his 400 acres of oats.

Mark Strutynski, who farmed with his wife Lynn about three miles east of Stornoway, died in a farm accident on August 29, said Trish Strutynski, a cousin and neighbour.

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“Mark was a stand-up guy and he would have done this if the situation was reversed,” Trish said last week. “He was a hard-working man and was well respected in the farming and business communities.”

September 24 was the third attempt at harvesting the oats, she said, explaining that the community had come together twice before, but both times it had rained, thereby preventing the harvest.

“This time it was dewy in the morning, but we decided ‘we have to go,’ and we did,” she said.

Fifteen combines, both from neighbours and from people who live out of the area began to arrive at 10 a.m., said Keith Strutynski, Trish’s husband. “We had a dozen semis, five tractors with grain carts and the hauling companies, Assiniboine Valley Transfer of Wroxton and Highway 16 out of Yorkton sent super B units.

“We started the harvest shortly after noon, and were done by 4 p.m., Keith said. “We were a crew of about 50.”

The oats was hauled directly to Grain Millers at Yorkton which took it all, he said. “We had the entire Grain Millers establishment to ourselves.”

Keith gave a shout-out to Shane Lacusta and Sherry, “who brought a donut wagon with coffee which was greatly appreciated. Sherry is a great baker.”

He said Grain Millers of Yorkton provided a pizza lunch and supper was donated by Mr. Mike’s of Yorkton.

“Everyone wanted to help,” Trish said. “Farmers realize that when it’s time to harvest, it’s time to harvest. You can’t put it on hold.

“No one who came to help with the harvest was done with his or her own harvest,” she said, adding that the Strutynskis still have some canola to do, which was to be harvested by volunteers within the next few days.