James Peters, better known as Jim, is a third generation Glenburn farmer who knows what it means to give, and has a deep understanding of what it means to receive.
“It was a life changing event for me,” Jim recalled, “but those people that I was serving, or helping out township board, school board whatever came full force.”
It was spring in 2019.
Jim was getting ready to seed and prep oil barrels to use as scrap iron.
“So I started cutting off the tops of these barrels and started putting that small stuff in there,” Jim explained. “One barrel had parts solvent in it, so it was very flammable. It blew up in my face. So I was a human fireball. “
Jim was airlifted to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota where he was treated for burns covering over 65-percent of his body.
While he fought for his life, the community took care of his family, and Farm Rescue took care of his land, seeding over a thousand acres of land.
“I don’t know if this place would still be here, or I’d be in this job,” Jim shared. “If it wasn’t for the community members, farm rescue and all the people. So and that’s why I do what I do.”
And the support continues today.
“I mean, they told me that 75-percent of the people with 65-percent of the burns don’t make it two yours. That’s the mental side of it,” Jim said. “So there’s a lot of people that I call and talk to and yeah, that’s all it takes, you know.”
The continued support came full circle, starting with Jim serving 18 years as a Glenburn Public School Board Member, 18 years serving as a township member and 15 years driving school bus at the Minot Air Force Base.
“I take a lot of pride in my district, in my school district, in my township, the state that we live in, my community,” Jim said. “I take a lot of pride in that. And this is just one stepping stone that I can do.”
That pride is apparent in how Jim lives out his life, from his work in the township to ensuring each and every kid in his community has what they need to succeed.
And how has life changed for Jim since that traumatic day?
“You get to look at a sunrise and a sunset a little different,” Jim shared. “It’s the small things. It really it’s the small things that change. Mobility wise? I don’t know, I’ve slowed down a little bit. Kids still talk smack but I think I can still take them.”
But that is what keeps him going day in, and day out.
And while farming may not seem glamorous, it’s a living that Jim takes pride in, doing best with every curve ball Mother Nature throws, as well as the curve balls in everyday life.
“You just can’t keep doing the same thing time and time and time again,” Jim said. “You have to adapt and deal with what you got.”
Jim said his wife, Michelle, is someone you should also know.
She was always there for him through the most difficult of times, and works in the Glenburn food and clothing pantries, Backpack for buddies and was on Booster Board for 15 years – making them quite the pair.