Local farmers harvest crops of late fellow farmer to honor his life

MILAN, Illinois - These fields have felt pretty empty lately.

"We've lost a farmer, a friend, a father, a son," says local farmer Ben Keller.

Empty during a time of year where farmer Christopher Rudsell would typically be harvesting.

44 year-old Farmer Rudsell lost his life to terminal cancer just months ago, leaving behind a wife and two daughters. Now, instead of local farmers harvesting their own crops, they've decided to come out and harvest what was once Farmer Chris' soybeans.

"We got together with a lot of local farmers, there five combines, nine trucks, and about 20 guys and gals," Keller reports. "So we just wanted to help out and see what we can do for the family."

So, these farmers decided to gather crops and remember a life-long friend.

Keller had the idea to put a picture of Chris on the window of each tractor and truck.  Now, as this farming family pushes forward the one member gone will stay with them in the fields.

"The farming community is just like a real family," says Dave Peterson, Chris' father-in-law.

And although Chris is now gone.  The fields will forever be full of him.