By Nathan Stevens
September 14, 2012
Tough times can bring out the best and worst in people. The drought that has impacted some areas of the province is an instance where the best is coming out in Canadian Farmers. The efforts being made to put together a “Hay East” campaign demonstrates that farmers separated by thousands of kilometers can pull together in times of need.
Back in 2002, Eastern Canadian farmers provided over 110,000 tonnes of hay to Western Canadian farmers through the “Hay West” campaign when they suffered the worst drought since the dustbowl years. Fundraising concerts were held, people donated financially and relief was brought across the country for farmers and their livestock that stood in need.
Today, a group of Saskatchewan farmers are hoping to return the favour as Eastern Ontario is suffering from severe drought and hay shortages. Mennonite Disaster Services and farm organizations are pulling together a plan for “Hay East.” A fundraising concert (http://www.farmaidottawa.com/) will be taking place this weekend in Ottawa in an effort to gather support for Eastern Ontario farmers.
The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) is working with industry partners to source forages for livestock producers with limited hay supply for the winter months. Many of the details are still being developed, but now is the time for farmers in need to let their farm organizations know.
If your farm requires hay this year, visit the CFFO Website (www.christianfarmers.org) for further information on how to add your name to the province wide database. Once program details and hay sources are confirmed, farmers on the list will be invited to apply for a share of the available supply. In the meantime, to access available Ontario hay, try the Ontario Hay Listings Service at www.ontariohaylistings.ca.
Tough times are bringing out the best in Canadian Farmers. The effort to pull together a “Hay East” campaign demonstrates that farmers have a community spirit of sharing the load.
Nathan Stevens is the Interim Manager and Director of Policy Development for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and UCB Canada radio stations in Chatham, Belleville, Bancroft, Brockville and Kingston and in Brantford and Woodstock. It is also found on the CFFO website:www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,200 family farmers across Ontario.