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Family and Farming

Watseka Ag Family Unites to Harvest for Hayden

Published on Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In farming communities, everyone is family. When someone is in need of help, family members are there at their side in an instant.

Normally in my Family and Farming section of the Beck’s Blog I share recipes, crafts and family traditions. But this week, I’m sharing a different type of story because those two topics are exactly what it is about…family and farming.

On Oct. 17, high school junior, Hayden Schaumburg, of Watseka, IL was tragically injured on the football field. He was blocking for another player when there was an intense collision. Hayden wasn’t able to move.


According to the full story on Yahoo Sports, the plan was to airlift Hayden to a Chicago-area hospital but it was too windy, so he had to be taken by ambulance. Once at the hospital, Hayden had to undergo surgery for eight hours. The diagnosis, his neck had been broken.

With the Schaumburgs still by their son's side at the hospital, their farm sat back at home waiting to be harvested. Their first priority was caring for a member of their family, and rightly so. What they didn’t know was that their community had the exact same priority, care for a member of their family. The family members the community was caring for – the Schaumburgs. And their act of caring went without discussion; everyone knew what needed to be done.

On November 1, more than 100 people arrived at the Schaumburg farm and got straight to work. Some came with tractors, some with auger carts, some with semis. Others brought lunch, supplies, and were there to help with anything that was needed.

                                                                     Photo by Cody Wilken (Facebook).

                                                                 Photo by Chad Colby (Facebook)

At the start of the morning eight combines moved through the fields, soon increasing to sixteen by the end of the morning. By mid-afternoon, more than 800 acres had been harvested. What would have normally taken weeks to complete, was accomplished in only a matter of hours.  

                                                                         Photo by Chad Colby (Facebook)

It was a day filled with hard work, but the community didn’t tire. Because the work was being done out of love, and because the Schaumburgs were their family.

The Schaumburgs are part of our Beck’s family too. Our seed advisor, Ryan Markley, and his brother Chad were two of the many people who were there to help that day. But for Ryan, he wasn’t only there to help his customer, but also a childhood friend.

             Markley Farms during the Schaumburg harvest on Nov. 1. - Photo by Alissa Kohler Stevens (Facebook)

I asked Ryan what it was like to be a part of this special day and what he shared with me was incredibly heartwarming.


On Saturday November, 1 at 7:00 a.m. I stepped into the field to start a day that would turn out to be the greatest experience I have ever had on a farm. I found more than 100 people there, to support and pray for a true championship effort. My brother and I took a combine, auger cart and two semis to help that Saturday. Eventually, we had 16 combines, 14 auger carts and nearly 30 trucks and semis that all came to help a farm family in need of help from their neighbors and “Ag Family”.

A couple of weeks prior to this Saturday, Clint and Jolyn Schaumburg’s son Hayden, 16, was involved in a awful collision on a football field. The result was three broken vertebrae in his neck and a compressed spinal cord leaving him at this point without feeling in from the chest down. The Schaumburg family is a close rural neighbor and Clint is a childhood friend of mine. They also have another son, Evan. All four of them are very involved in their family farm. However, none of them have been able to focus on farming – they are focused on Hayden’s recovery. That’s where the “ag family” stepped in to help finish harvesting their fields. It is a very heartwarming thing to see how our ag community has come well as hundreds of others! That day will remain the most incredible outpouring of human spirit I’ve ever been a part of.

The Schaumburg family is from Watseka, IL a town of 5,000, and a place I am proud to once again call home. The way this farming community has rallied around the Schaumburgs is outstanding. Hayden is fighting his heart out right now. He is recovering, but the medical and rehab bills for this family are going to be a huge burden. If anyone would be moved to help the family as well, we have a website people can go to help Hayden. On this site you can read more about what an incredible young man Hayden is.

On behalf of the Schaumburg family and the Watseka, IL community we want to say thank you to everyone who has sent their support and helped share Hayden’s story. We hope you’ll join us in continuing to pray and sending your love and support to Hayden and his family during his recovery.


While the events of how this day came about were heartbreaking, the amazing acts of love that came from it are incredibly uplifting. And the love and support from everyone in the agricultural community is inspiring.

A Facebook page about Hayden’s journey has been created and family and friends are posting updates about his recovery. A recent update from the family is a happy one.

“Hayden’s breathing is improving by leaps and bounds. They are letting him venture out of his room in his cardio chair while we walk beside him. He is looking good and sleeping at night now which was a big struggle a few days ago. Everyday prayers are being answered and we are all excited about rehab!”

They also published that Hayden has been moved to a rehab facility that specializes in spinal cord injuries and will continue his recovery journey there.

Hayden is continuing to get better each and every day but his road to recovery will be a long one.

If you’d like to keep up with Hayden’s journey to recovery, you can follow the Prayers for Hayden Facebook page.

On behalf of everyone at Beck’s, we would like to extend our support to Hayden and the Schaumburg family. We hope you'll join us in keeping the Schaumburg family and Hayden in your thoughts and prayers.

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Chelsea O'Brien
Chelsea O'Brien>

Chelsea O'Brien

Beck's Hybrids marketing associate, social media specialist, southern Indiana native and advocate of agriculture.

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