Seeds of Kindness Grew while Farmer’s Last Crop was Harvested

It was an emotional morning at the Rasmussen farm Wednesday, Oct. 31. Family and friends, combines and auger wagons, poured in to help bring in a loved one’s last crop. Just five months ago, this same group of dedicated family and friends helped make sure this crop was planted.

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Virgil Rasmussen, who had served for years as Latham® dealer in Emerson, Nebraska, endured a hard-fought fight against Leukemia for the past year. The height of his treatments occurred during the busy spring planting months, and the Emerson community responded in a big way. Five tractors with planters, a seed tender, transport team and a meal prep crew came together to make it happen. With the crop safely in the ground, Virgil was able to focus on getting better. In mid-October, he received the all-clear from his doctor team. He had won the battle against Leukemia!

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It was a surprise to everyone when late last week they received news of Virgil’s illness and sudden passing. Loved ones, with heavy but determined hearts, once again answered the call for help. A harvest bee made up of friends and neighbors arrived to show their love and support to Virgil’s wife, Irene, and their family, as they put Virgil’s last crop safely in the bins.

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Virgil enjoyed his life’s work in agriculture. He planted and harvested 42 crops on his home farm east of Emerson. Whether it was full-scale out in the fields or a 1/16th size toy replica, Virgil will be remembered for his love of tractors and for his unique ability to customize toy tractors of various models. Virgil was a proud grandparent. He also loved fishing and providing great service to his seed customers. We at Latham Seeds are grateful for the opportunity to have known Virgil, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to the entire Rasmussen family.

Virgil Rasmussen

When a farming family is in need or facing crisis, friends and neighbors pull together to take care of every detail right down to the field meal. In honor of all the helping hands that worked to bring home Virgil’s crop, we share this favorite field meal for Swedish Meatballs.

Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles


1 lb lean ground beef

1 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs

½ cup finely chopped yellow onion

¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 egg

1 tablespoon butter

1 carton (32 oz) chicken broth

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

4 cups medium egg noodles


In large bowl, mix beef, bread crumbs, onion, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the pepper and allspice until well combined. Add milk, Worcestershire sauce and egg. Shape mixture into 12 (2-inch) meatballs.

In 5-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add meatballs; cook 8 to 11 minutes, gently turning occasionally, just until browned on all sides.

Add broth, whipping cream and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; heat to boiling. Stir in noodles; return to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer 15 to 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in center (165°F), pasta is cooked and sauce is thickened. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.


Recipe from Betty Crocker Cookbook