PALESTINE, Ill. (WTWO/WWAV) — Farm Rescue, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping farm families going through a time of crisis was in Crawford County planting corn and soybeans for a farmer affected by the March 31st tornado.

Farm Rescue’s Marketing Program Manager, Dan Erdmann, said the main goal of the organization is to help farm families going through a crisis.

“Whether it be an injury, illness or a natural disaster, like a tornado, which is the whole reason we are here around Palestine and Robinson helping a few families that were greatly impacted,” Erdmann said.

That tornado destroyed Doug Knoblett’s farm in Palestine Illinois.

“All of my machinery was hurt in some manner, some of it much worse than others, but I don’t have anything operable at the moment,” Knoblett. They are bringing in a tractor and planter and we’re going to get another tractor to work some ground and they’re literally going to start my planting process.

Farm Rescue’s team of volunteers travel across the country supporting their mission and lending a helping hand.

“To serve as our boots on the ground and are kind of the lifeblood in what we do,” Erdmann said. “They’re out here actually fulfilling that mission and running that equipment and helping these families in a time of crisis,” Erdmann added.

Kenneth Chyle has been volunteering with Farm Rescue for the last 13 years.

“You’ve got people that’s really hurting, and we’re here to take care of that void while they get over their illness or their natural disaster,” Chyle said.

Chyle recalled the very first case he served on.

“I was planting corn and I called the guy, about thirty minutes before I got there. Told him about what time I’d be there. He said, ‘I’ll be in the barn lot waiting for you’ and he was,” Chyle recalled. “I got out of the tractor and walked over to him stuck out my hand and he bear hugged me and tears rolling down his cheeks, said I don’t know what I would’ve done if you all wouldn’t have got here,” he added.

Chyle is thankful to be in a place in his life where he can now give back to others. Farm Rescue offers free planting, haying, harvest and livestock feeding assistance to farm families in need.

“It’s short-term support but hopefully a long-term effect,” Erdmann said.

“It’s such an enormous relief to have someone help like this,” Knoblett said. “So, I can go ahead and deal with the disaster,” he added.

“Every time I start a crop, either planting or harvesting, I try to do the farmer better than how I would’ve done myself,” Chyle said.

Farmers can apply for farm assistance during times of crisis on Farm Rescue’s website.

Farm Rescue is sponsored by some large names. The nonprofit organization relies on the generous support of donors, volunteers and sponsors to carry out their mission.