When a tragic silo accident took the lives of a Wisconsin father and son last month, the ag community near and far stepped up to help.
In late March, Dan Briel and his boys Caleb and David were cleaning the inside of a silo on their family farm. While inside, the silage collapsed in on them. Caleb, age 15, was able to get out and call for help, however by the time rescuers made it to the rural farm and accessed Dan, he had already passed. David, who had just turned 14, still had a weak pulse and was rushed to the hospital. Sadly, David passed before the ambulance could reach the life flight team.
Since the silo accident, farmers from across the country have come forward in a big way to help the family.
First when the Briel family decided to sell their herd of cows at Equity Livestock’s Horst Stables earlier this month, the livestock auction purchased one of the calves for $100 and then donated the money to the family. That one act of giving created a chain reaction. The calf has now been sold 11 times, with each sale going back to the family. So far the calf has brought in $2,700.
Then Iowa Facebook group I/64 Farming Operations partnered with Indiana’s group Farmers Toy Store to hold a farm toy auction. All of the 75 items donated from people across more than seven states sold and the auction raised nearly $10,000 for the family.
All of this is in addition to the GoFundMe set up for the Briel family. Originally set up with a $40,000 goal in mind to help the family with funeral expenses, the fundraising site quickly surpassed that. As of Monday, more than $103,000 has been raised by 1,454 donors.
In one of the updates on the GoFundMe page, wife and mother Melissa Briel said she wanted everyone who heard their story to know that God is with them and will see them through.
“God is good even through hard times,” she said. “I want people to take away that God is there and if you keep your faith in him he’s going to see you through.”