Presentation features life of ‘Harmless Farmer’


Submitted story

West Liberty farmer Andy Detwiler, known by YouTube followers as the Harmless Farmer, inspired thousands during his lifetime with his resilience and positivity.

At two years old, he lost both his arms in a farming accident. He went on to become a successful farmer, using his feet, remaining shoulder, chin, even teeth, to do anything he needed to.

Detwiler’s mother, Pat Detwiler; widow, Corkey Detwiler; and daughter, Kylie Detwiler, will share his life story in a free program at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Champaign County Historical Society Museum, 809 East Lawn Ave., Urbana.

With Corkey and Kylie’s encouragement, he launched the Harmless Farmer YouTube channel, which became one of the most popular farming-related channels, with about 136,000 followers and more than 31.9 million views. At Sunday’s program, Kylie will share a few of the videos, in which he demonstrates and explains his workarounds to operate and maintain farm equipment and complete the many other tasks of farming.

Andy Detwiler died at age 52, on Sept. 21, 2022, from complications while under treatment for cancer.

As a tribute, a bronze sculpture of him, created by sculptor Mike Major, will be erected on the southern edge of West Liberty. Fundraising for the Harmless Farmer Project is continuing, in care of the Champaign County Arts Council.

About the Champaign County Historical Society

The museum collects, preserves, and interprets artifacts, documents, and other resources from Champaign County to educate current and future generations about our history.

The museum has been located at 809 East Lawn Ave., Urbana, since 1972. Originally established in 1934, the museum first housed its collection at the former location of the Champaign County Library on West Market Street, and then moved to the Nutwood Barn, south of Grimes Field on North Main Street.

The Historical Society is conducting a capital campaign to expand its current facility, which is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Info from event organizers

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