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Urgent help needed in potato fields ‘to save a farmer’s livelihood’

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EastIdahoNews.com file photo

NEWDALE — Volunteers are needed to help in Madison County potato fields after freezing weather caused major problems for farmers last week.

Schwendiman Farms in Newdale is asking for people to assist in pulling frozen and spoiled potatoes off conveyor belts before they hit potato cellars. The farm relies on helpers during spud harvest, but students in the Sugar Salem School District return to class Monday and a lot of work still needs to be done.

“Last week was brutal. We worked nonstop Monday and Tuesday until the storm came in on Wednesday and there’s still a lot of potatoes in the ground up there,” Chantry Mason tells EastIdahoNews.com. Mason helps on the farm and is worried the storm may have ruined acres of potatoes.

RELATED | Video of Idaho farmers coming together to save potato crop goes viral

Extra hands are needed during two shifts each day from Monday through Thursday. The first shift runs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and the second shift goes from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. Volunteers are asked to wear gloves, dress warm and bring food or snacks. If you wear glasses or contacts, goggles are strongly recommended.

RELATED | Community rallies to help farmer in need before the ground freezes

“You don’t need any sort of experience. Just grab a pair of gloves and help save a farmer’s livelihood,” Mason says.

Mason encourages other farmers in need of help to reach out and ask. If you know of any, email news@eastidahonews.com and we will update this story with those needs.

Google Map directions to Schwendiman Farms can be found here.

If you’re interested in volunteering, sign up here.

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