Local benefit, neighbors hope to replace destroyed equipment, barn

A fire may have destroyed a barn on the Joe Kathrein farm, but his former co-workers at the New England Fire Department are already working hard to replace what was lost in the Jan. 28 fire.

Staff Report
Kathrein, the fire chief in New England from 2011 until he stepped down in December, lost livestock and all of the family’s 4-H supplies, according to Brad Rustan, the new fire chief.
To help recover and replace the 4-H supplies lost in the fire, a barbeque meal fundraiser will be held at the Memorial Hall in New England on Feb. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a silent auction and show, Rustan said.
There will be no money charged, but there will be a free will offering, According to Rustan, there will be an auction and entertainment until the event is over.
The benefit is sponsored and supported by the New England Fire Department, along with local New England and area residents.
Rustan said there already has been a cow donated for the event and he will bring out his smokers to cook the meal.
When spring arrives Rustan has something else planned.
“I’d like to see if we could get people to volunteer and build another barn or building for them. If we can get the people to donate equipment and their time, I think we can build something for them,” Rustan said. “The old building had a lot of history. I think it was about 100 years old.”
If he can get the donations and the people, Rustan said he would be willing to bring a smoker to the farm to cook up a meal.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Brad at 701-300-2375.

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