Flagstaff County farmers rally in light of tragedy

Farm machinery of all kinds gathered in the Lockhart family’s wheat fields on Sat. Oct. 12 in Flagstaff County near Strome. Between 16 combines, four grain carts, 20 trucks and a multitude of augers, 1,300 acres were easily finished after a day of solid work. This photo was taken from above by an Iron Creek Flying Club member. Image courtesy of Terry Remyn

The community surrounding Strome, Alta. in Flagstaff County came together to help a local family with their harvest.

After an aviation accident took the life of local Strome pilot and farmer, Brian Lockhart, the community came together in his family’s time of need.

A 1,300 acre wheat field was bustling with equipment on Sat. Oct. 12.

Between approximately 16 combines, four grain carts, 20 trucks and a multitude of augers, the work was easily polished off in a day.

The crew of roughly 50 people got together for a meal afterwards.

Fellow aviator and family friend of Lockhart, Doug Lindseth described the gathering as “fun, sad, and beautiful all mixed together.”

There was one moment where Lindseth was unloading a grain cart when he noticed the large harvest moon rising from the eastern horizon while machines continued to hum as they worked.

“It was an unbelievable moment you know? I’ll never forget it,” he said.

Brian Lockhart was considered an experienced pilot and farmer within the community.

Rural crime has been an important, growing concern among remote communities for several years and has now indirectly taken the life of one innocent person.

On Fri. Sept. 27, two criminals were reported breaking in and stealing in the area.

The Iron Creek Flying Club based out of the Flagstaff Regional Airport between Killam and Sedgewick has on occasion been asked to help with certain cases of rural crime by giving an aerial perspective.

“We do it as a community service,” said Lindseth.

This time, Lockhart volunteered to help since he had the skill and ability to do so.

He was also a member of the club. One perp was apprehended while the other was still on the loose.

Lockhart picked up one of the farmers who had reported the crime to help find the person.

After their work was complete, Lockhard dropped the farmer back off by landing in a field and was taking off again on his way home when the plane had failed, resulting in the crash.

The Lockharts were hesitant to accept help at first as they didn’t want their neighbours to sacrifice their time that could be spent in their own fields but the community rallied together and helped them with their wheat crop.

“It was good to see the community come together,” continued Lindseth.

“There was talk of going over there and harvesting their whole crop for them but in the discussion, farmers are proud people, we all are, and there is something about bringing the crop in that is quite rewarding so they still have their canola to work on. They will be able to get that done.”

Lindseth noted that all of the volunteers had no problem lending a helping hand to a family that would undoubtedly do the same for them.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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ECA Review