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Neighbors harvest man's hay after injury

Emmett Lingle, who is recovering from surgery, is thankful for his neighbors, who helped cut and bail hay this past week. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

"It's just neighbors helping neighbors," says Emmett Lingle.

His neighbors decided to volunteer their time to cut and bail 150 acres of Lingle's land.

The retired teacher and farmer had surgery a couple weeks ago to alleviate pain from his vertebrae pressing down on his spine. The injury happened after years of farming, he said.

Emmett says he's feeling pretty well after the surgery but he'll be wearing a neck brace for between six and 12 weeks, which puts him out of commission for cutting and bailing hay from his 150 acres of field just west of Dorset.

"My neighbors just came over and said, 'don't worry, we'll take care of it,'" Emmett said.

Leo Gartner in particular stepped up to help out. Arvin Packer, Andy Gartner, Dwaine McCullion and Nate Haas also helped out over the past week.

"He helped me out so much over the years," Gartner said. It's just what neighbors do, he added.

Emmett's wife, Shirley, said people in the Park Rapids area have always been very generous.

The hay cutting and bailing was on schedule to be finished by the end of this week, Emmett said. If his neighbors hadn't volunteered to do the work, he might have hired someone to do it, he said.

As soon as Emmett has recovered from his surgery, he hopes to get back to work.

"I'll probably try to help someone else," he said. "It's what neighbors do."