Wadena area crop and dairy farmer Bruce Richter is at home recovering from triple bypass surgery he had last Thursday, April 23.

Having to heal up from that is one battle, but being he is unable to operate a tractor for about 30 days during the height of spring ground work is enough to put a farmer over the edge. Thankfully Bruce’s family banded together Wednesday, April 29, to form an army of blue tractors to tackle the job at hand. Seven tractors in all came together including three of Bruce’s. Family members included Bruce’s sons Adam and Chris, grandson Nik Wiese, brother Tim, nephews Paul and Tom and cousin Jerry.

Karyl Richter said her husband is doing pretty good in his recovery but has a ways to go as veins were taken from his leg and chest to be used in the bypass. He had the surgery in St. Cloud.

“He’s a tough old farmer, you know, never give up,” Karyl said.

With everything going on with hospitals taking precautions for the coronavirus, Karyl had concerns about Bruce being seen. She said Tri-County Health Care in Wadena saw them quickly and moved Bruce in the right direction to have an angiogram done in St. Cloud, Wednesday, April 22. (An angiogram is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to take pictures of your blood vessels.) That quickly showed that more than stints would be necessary. Bruce also had a heart attack about four years ago.

“I was really impressed with the speed of things,” Karyl said.

The family help was huge as Bruce is still short of breath from going through seven hours of surgery. Looking out over blue skies and dry fields and seeing blue tractors plowing and discing up the ground brought some much needed comfort. While the boys are in the field, daughter Mandy has been making sure the cow milking is tended to along with help from Nik and Junior Dairy Princess Morgan Wiese.

“It meant so much because it took so much stress off Bruce wondering how they were going to get the crop in this year,” Karyl said.

While the crew likely won’t get all the work done in a day, they planned to return again when able to help make sure that Bruce has green crops to tend to when he is able to return to work.

Tractors setup with plows and discs headed out from the Richter Farm on Wednesday, April 29 near Wadena to complete some spring field work.
Submitted photo
Tractors setup with plows and discs headed out from the Richter Farm on Wednesday, April 29 near Wadena to complete some spring field work. Submitted photo