CRESTON, Iowa — It was a sad day for some in the agriculture community when they learned that friend and neighbor Paul Baker had lost his battle with cancer.

“Between Paul and his brother, John, they probably have close to 1,200 to 1,500 acres of corn and beans,” said family friend Chad Rieck, of Creston. “They were right in the middle of harvest when this all happened, so today we have the community in the area who’ve come out to finish up the harvest for them.”

The 600 acres of corn were spread over five different farm sites. Seventy-five volunteers were recruited to drive combines, grain carts, and haul with trucks to the nearby grain elevator.

“He graduated high school in 1978, he and his wife, Lynn, have lived in this area and have been farmers their entire life,” said Rieck. “Word of mouth in our community immediately went out once one guy stepped up and said ‘hey, we need to do this’ and everybody else just started coming together.”

The 600 acres of corn were harvested in about four hours on Thursday.

“I think just the most important thing is that the family wants everybody to know how thankful and grateful they are,” said Rieck.