MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Harvest season is a busy time for farmers. But in western Minnesota near the town of Milan, more than 40 farmers stopped what they were doing to help out a friend.

An emergency heart procedure kept Mike Hanen from getting to his soybeans.

“I finally gave in and walked into the house and told my wife you better take me to the emergency room because something is not right,” said Hanen.

For Hanen, that was telling because it takes a lot for him to step away from his farm work. But it was lucky he went in when he did. Doctors discovered 99% blockage in 2 of his arteries.

“I probably would’ve had a major heart attack. I probably wouldn’t have made it through,” said Hanen.

Hanen needed triple bypass surgery. He also needed to take it easy for a while. Normally, that would be a tough break during harvest season, but not in this neighborhood.

“I just told him don’t worry about the harvest. It’ll be taken care,” said friend Gary Olson.

Olson and his brother Delane were part of a group of more than 40 farmers who decided to step up for Hanen. Last Saturday they took time off from their fields to help Hanen with his.

They had four combines on three different farms and two combines on another one. When it was all said and done they had knocked out more than 400 acres of Hanen’s soybeans in just over three hours.

It’s something that would have taken Hanen and his brother at least 4 days to do and that’s if the weather is good.

“He’s always been there for everybody else,” said Delane. “It’s really a special community. It really is.”

“I don’t really know what to say to them it’s kind of emotional for me. I’m very thankful for it,” said Hanen.

Just having Hanen here is thanks enough for them.

“He’s tough as nails so I knew he’d make it,” said Gary.

This Sunday marks two weeks since Mike’s surgery. He says he’s getting stronger by the day.

John Lauritsen

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