Throughout the U.S., including Kansas, college students are being sent home from campus due to fear of spreading the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.


Although most students do not relish the thought of taking online courses from home, if their parents are farmers or ranchers, the extra hands can be of help for planting and calving season.


"My youngest son and my nephew have both been working in the shop during break," said Cameron Peirce, a farmer in Hutchinson. "Now I get them for an extra week."


Peirce said he needs to dust the wheat and get the grain bins cleaned out.


Hayden Peirce, 19, enjoys helping his father, but he is worried about taking classes remotely.


"A lot of classes can’t be taught on line effectively," said Hayden, who is studying agricultural engineering at Kansas State University. "There are no chemicals for the labs."


Hayden also wondered how he can take a physics lab online. His 20-year-old cousin Kai, who is at the farm with him for the semester, is also concerned about getting behind in classes.


"I have drawings I have to do. It takes special equipment," said Kai, who is studying mechanical engineering at K-State.


But both Kai and Hayden said they are happy to help Cameron with the farm.


"Potentially, I have the possibility of being distracted because I’m home," Kai said. "But I will try not to be."


Stacey Krehbiel, a farmer from Pretty Prairie, said he would love to have his son Wyatt, 21, come home to help.


"But I think he is going to stay in Manhattan. He has a job and still has to pay rent," Krehbiel said.


The biggest reason Wyatt cannot come home, though, he said, is the lack of adequate internet on the rural farm.


For other farmers and their kids, although it is tough, this spring they might have some extra hands to help them with planting.


"We’ve got a lot of spring stuff to do," Cameron Peirce said. "This is a bonus."