What was almost a tragedy turned into a community coming together to help someone in need.
On Wednesday, May 22, local farmer Jackie Loyd was doing a chore that most farmers do, cleaning a grain bin, when he dropped his scoop inside. He went in to get the scoop, but he got trapped inside the bin with corn pouring over him.
Loyd was stuck inside the grain bin for 40 minutes before anyone heard him screaming. Loyd’s brother went in to rescue him, but he got trapped as well. Loyd was inside the grain bin for nearly four hours before he was rescued. To rescue Loyd, rescue teams had to cut a hole in his silo, causing thousands of bushels of corn to spill on the ground.
The Loyd Brothers were in danger of losing the corn, but the North Jackson High School football and baseball teams showed up to help them save some of the corn.
North Jackson principal Josh Harding said it came about after talking with Loyd’s daughter and North Jackson teacher Tina Matthews. Harding said he could hear the worry in her voice when she talked about all the corn on the ground and how it the entire crop would be ruined if it rained.
“Mr. Loyd has been a longtime supporter of North Jackson and it was time for us to give back,” Harding said. “She called to update me one afternoon and said that they may need us. And of course, that’s all she needed to say. So, we rallied the troops and went to work.”
Harding said that it was a testament to the impact the Loyds have had and continue to have on North Jackson and the local community. They have been great supporters of North Jackson High School since it opened in 1988, Harding said teachers and coaches at North Jackson tell their students every day to be high character people on and off the playing field, and helping the Loyds was a great opportunity to put those lessons into practice.
The workday was not mandatory for the students, but more than 40 kids from the teams showed up to help.
“It was awesome to see so many of our guys show up on their first day of summer break and take pride in their community,” Harding said. “Our kids are the best around. That day they got the chance to prove it. They made us all proud to be Chiefs.”
North Jackson head football coach Chandler Tygard said that he was more than happy to help out great people like the Loyds. He said that even on such short notice, the kids that came to help were excited to get out and help such a great supporter of the school. Tygard said 95 percent of the corn that was spilled was saved, about $10,000 worth of corn.
One of Tygard’s goals is to change the culture of the North Jackson football team. He said helping the Loyds was another example of the high character and great quality kids they have at North Jackson.
Jackie Loyd’s son Mike, who is also a farmer, said that the students were a great help because it would have taken several days to clean up the corn with just a few people. Instead, it only took them about four hours with the help of the North Jackson students and coaches. Loyd said it was a very labor-intensive job to get that much corn off the ground and that they cleaned up about 2,500 bushels of corn.
“Without the volunteers from North Jackson, it would have been an exhausting job,” Loyd said. “They are a great group of young men and their help was greatly appreciated.”