Fellow farmers pay respect to a Milan farmer with equipment salute

MILAN, Illinois - Almost two dozen local farmers came together Tuesday to honor a 44 year-old farmer who lost his fight after two years battling cancer.

Tractors lined a three-mile funeral procession route for Christopher Rudsell along Illinois 94, from the U.S. 67 intersection to Chapel Grove Cemetery.

The procession was organized by Brad Sunken, a friend and customer of Rudsell.  He reached out to nearby farmers Saturday night after he received the news that his friend had passed.  All were more than happy to help out.

"One guy that I had sent a message to, I didn't realize he didn't know him," said Sunken.  "But when I talked to him yesterday he said, "I didn't know Chris, but sure. I'd be glad to bring a tractor."

Rudsell always dreamed of running his own farm, which he achieved.  He now leaves behind that farm, a wife, and two young daughters.

Today, he's remembered for the well-liked farmer he was and his contributions to his neighbors.

"He was just a friend of the community," recalls Sunken. "The farm community comes together in time of crisis. The farming community cares."