Deer Park Sunflowers Keep out

DEER PARK, Wash. - A group of North Spokane County farmers are pleading with the public to respect their sunflower fields and keep their distance. They say they are dealing with a spike with trespassers who are getting combative when confronted.

"We have had people yell at us, curse at us," Jody Letz said. "We had someone tell our neighbors (when confronted) that they were given permission. No one has given these (photographers) permission."

Jody Letz is married to one of the farmers who gives the land his all, every single day. She says he does that to support his family and keep his employees with a paycheck.

"(These sunflowers) pay for dance lessons, our kid's school," she said. "It keeps our five employees on the payroll."

Jody wrote our "Help Me Hayley" an email asking for help. She says she just wants to educate people about how damaging trespassing is for their crop.

"I think (Hayley) can reach more people," she said. "I think the information you can get out there is helpful for us."

Down the road, Dusty and Erin Walsh are also constantly asking people to please respect boundaries.

"You can take your pictures, just do it respectfully from the side of the road," Erin said. "We're just farmers, trying to make a crop and make a living. We do not want to be a tourist trap."

Dusty says many people who try to argue with them when asked to leave, and tell them to "just put a fence up." He wants the public to realize why that isn't going to happen.

"These are a rotation crop, this field won't be sunflowers next year," he said.

All these families hope by sharing their story, the issues will subside. They appreciate that there is so much admiration for the crop, and they get why, but are just asking people to look and not touch.

"No one has time to keep (those taking pictures) out, we have other, more important things to do," Dusty said.