Waukesha County man's corn stand raises thousands for cancer research

Posted at 5:57 PM, Aug 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 19:12:05-04

WAUKESHA COUNTY -- A Waukesha county man is fighting cancer with corn.

You may wonder how a simple ear of corn can fight cancer. The formula is simple: Grow it. Give it away. Simply ask for a donation in return.

That’s what Rich Johnson has been doing the last 3 years in Waukesha County.

“I had an empty field and didn’t know what to do with it, so I talked to my dad and he suggested to turn it into a small farm.”

Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, Johnson’s father was diagnosed with and eventually succumbed to lung cancer.

The loss of his father inspired Johnson to create Pop’s Produce Stand at the end of his driveway.

Johnson, a mechanic, turned to a mentor, retired teacher Rich Csavoy, and together they transformed the vacant land into a field of dreams.

That dream was about cultivating change, and for the men who till the soil, this just seemed a natural way to sow their seeds of involvement.

Csavoy claims, “It’s a great thing.  You gotta pay back.  All humanity should give back.  If you don’t you’re missing the experience.”

The unassuming stand off Boetcher Road has captured more than a kernel of curiosity from passersby, who’ve spread the word over time.

Donations amount to more than $3,000, twice the money raised this time last year.

Johnson calls it, "the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

Csavoy will join Johnson and his family in presenting their donation along with several others during a celebration at Wern Valley Wednesday evening.