SHANNON – It was an already uncooperative harvest season, now made even more difficult by grief.
Brothers Daniel and Bryan Snetcher had their own family farm, and also ran Snetcher Custom Farming, working for other producers across Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle, and Stephenson counties, and as far away as Aurora and Naperville.
With 400 acres of their own corn to bring in, Daniel – Opie to his friends – died Nov. 14 in a car crash. “We were about to start into our harvest,” Bryan said Friday.
As the Snetchers tried to process Daniel’s death, friends swung into action. On Dec. 19, Ryan Rabb of Durand brought his 16-row combine and helped organize a group of about 40 volunteers.
“We’ve gotten big help from neighbors. We’ve been blessed with the number. It probably would’ve taken me a month if I’d done it myself,” said Bryan, 34, 4 years younger than Daniel.
Those 400 acres were scattered north of Shannon and between Lanark and Mount Carroll. By Friday, only 50 acres were left. “We’ve been drying corn constantly,” Bryan said.
Bryan will continue to run Snetcher Custom Farming, although the scale of the work likely will be reduced for a time.
“I’m not sure what adjustments will be made. I can still do it,” Bryan said, adding that he may have to hire help.
The next generation of Snetchers may some day chip in as well.
Daniel, a 1999 Eastland High graduate, left behind sons Caleb, 14 and Tatum Snetcher, 12, and a daughter, Dani Snetcher, 10. Bryan has two sons: George, 8, and Welden, 7.
A celebration of life fundraiser for Daniel’s children tentatively is planned for February.
Schwarz Funeral Homes in handled arrangements; go to schwarzfh.com to read the full obituary.