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by Mark Cheffey
When Shawn Kiefaber arrived at the rendezvous spot along CR 312 a mile west of U.S. 61 for those gathering to help harvest corn and beans for the Triplett family, he had to smile while seeing a rainbow in the western sky.
“It seemed like a sign from Keith that everything was going to go all right today,” Kiefaber said.
Keith Triplett, who was tragically killed in a traffic crash Sept. 30, was a close friend of Kiefaber, and many others, who were taking part in the day’s harvest as a way to help out the Tripletts in a time of need.
And, yes, everything did go all right, as the gathered crew harvested 200 acres of beans and 50 acres of corn to complete the lion’s share remaining harvest with additional acres of beans still not ready to pick.
“It went extremely well. It couldn’t have gone any better,” Kiefaber said.
Of course there was the help from 40 to 50 people who either drove combines, pulled grain wagons and drove grain trucks to those who shuttled people back and forth on ATVs and others who helped serve lunch for all involved.
All were taking part in a long-time tradition of helping farm families during their time in need.
In this case, time was of the essence as the harvest has been going full bore of the past few weeks with the weather cooperating the effort.
“It really needed to be done,” said Kiefaber who made phone calls to friends and acquaintances of the Triplett family in arranging the harvest.
“I’m not much of a social media person,” Kiefaber said.
Kiefaber didn’t have to twist any arms either as people enthusiastically came forward to help the family of Keith Triplett, who was a very active member of the Smileyville area between Palmyra and Taylor.
“He will be missed in the community for sure,” Kiefaber said of Triplett whose family has been involved in 4-H, Palmyra Young Farmers and the Palmyra R-I School District as well as their church.
“He was always my source of information about the community, including people in need of prayers or help,” Kiefaber said.
Keith Triplett’s widow, Kim, was touched by the harvest as well as the overall response to her and the family.
“I am beyond blessed to call Fabius/Smileyville/Palmyra (tri-state area) my hometown!” she wrote in a social media post. “The Triplett Family Farm thanks all of you from the bottom of our hearts.
“There really are just no words for the out pouring of love, support and prayers we have received.”