From the first groove the planter makes every spring, farmers hope for a bountiful harvest. There were many challenges to overcome this year, but similar to Novembers past, now is the time farmers relish in feelings of accomplishment and thankfulness.

After contracting the COVID-19 virus himself, CropWatcher 2.0 Greg St. Aubin said he’s thankful for health and his own win over the virus. “Without our health, life becomes really complicated,” he said.

The Kankakee County farmer finished fall fieldwork on Sunday, applying the last field with anhydrous ammonia. Now, it’s time for paperwork, he shared.

St. Aubin also shared being the recipient of a “Pay it Forward” moment when his Dunkin Donuts order was paid for by the car in front of him. He kept it going.

“The other day MJ and I were at the local greasy spoon and I asked the waitress to give me one of her other customer’s bill of her choice,” he shared. “I don’t know which one she gave me but I paid it forward. It felt good.”

Watch: Greg St. Aubin, and his wife Mary Jeanne, reflect on the impacts of COVID-19 on their farm and family.

CropWatcher 2.0 Lucas Roney is also thankful for the health of his family after his parents recovered from COVID-19 with very few symptoms or side effects. He’s also thankful to make it through another harvest safely.

In preparation for a Thanksgiving feast, Roney’s kids have been researching recipes, including stuffing and cranberry sauce. “They are really excited about stuffing and cooking a turkey,” he shared.

In McDonough County, CropWatcher 2.0 Colby Hunt said 2020 “has really been a good year” on the farm. Besides mostly cooperating weather this season, Hunt is most thankful for a healthy baby girl that joined in family in June.

Reflecting on this fall, Hunt calls this year’s harvest the smoothest in years. As fall work nears completion, he said he’s even gotten ahead on a few other farm projects.

“We been grateful that COVID-19 hasn’t affected our family or employees yet,” he shared. “So hopefully we can finish out 2020 on a high note.”

Watch: Colby Hunt recaps the 2020 season and what he’s thankful for this year.

In White County, CropWatcher 2.0 Bryce Williams is grateful the crop went in and came out with no major breakdowns, no injuries (or quarantines) and for bountiful yields. “But what I’m most thankful for was getting to see my daughter grow up and turn 1 this year,” Williams shared.

While abiding by public health regulation and guidelines, Williams has still tried to show his support for local businesses.

After an abundant harvest, CropWatcher 2.0 John Bartman is getting in the spirit of the giving season. “I serve on our food pantry board and the need is increase,” shared the McHenry County farmer. “This is going to be a hard winter for many this year.”

The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic hit close to home for Bartman, who is also thankful his sister was released from the hospital after contracting the virus.