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Farmer recovering from COVID-19 gets help planting seeds

Dozens of farmers helped with tillage and seed tending to ensure Alt Brothers Farm would stay afloat this season.

KENT CITY, Mich. — Alt Brothers Farm has been no stranger to illness and tragedy this year, losing one employee in a car accident and another recently being hospitalized due to health concerns. The family-owned business faced more hardship three weeks ago when owner Steve Alt tested positive for COVID-19.

"I got real sick, spent a couple nights in the hospital a little pneumonia," Alt said, "I get tired real quick now…this thing is real. I’m here to tell you it’s not just a bunch of jokes."

Alt is now out of the hospital and back to business, but he said the poor weather conditions and lack of people on his team have made catching up on work difficult.  

On Saturday, dozens of farmers came to his aide, volunteering their labor and equipment to till and plant corn seeds for him.

"There are three different farms that came with planters today, and they’re actually planting the corn. We got some friends that came from the south side of the state down by Allegan came up and he’s doing the seed tending, bringing guys the seed corn and stuff like that. Another local farmer is donating the fertilizer," Steve's son Bryan explained.

Alt Brothers Farm operates in Comstock Park but Alt also rents planting space in Kent City from his cousins, John and Stacey, on their farm. The Kent City space was used for the event.

Alt said he is thankful for all the support, saying it's a symbol of the community's kindness.

"When people need help they come and help and I’m so proud…I’m so proud to be in a neighborhood where this works," Alt said.

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