Some farmers had to move animals due to the fires
By Diego Flammini
Ontario’s ag community is helping support other farmers affected by forest fires throughout the province.
Producers with available pastures or barns are offering their farms to farmers who may have to relocate livestock due to the fires. The fires stretch from Bancroft, Ont. to Cochrane, Ont.
Farmers empathized with their friends in need.
“I couldn’t imagine leaving my farm without my animals, and I’m sure they couldn’t imagine leaving their farms without theirs,” Colleen Armstrong, owner of Sudbury-area Armstrong Acres told Farms.com today.
Armstrong has offered her farm up but no one has accepted her gesture yet. She also has a trailer available for anyone who may need to move horses.
Others in her community are also offering to assist farmers.
“I know one farm down the road has taken in about 14 animals,” she said. “Others are even taking in RVs and helping families with a place to stay through this whole situation.”
Kathy Herron’s 30-head cattle farm in St. Charles, Ont., has at least two pastures, as well as hay and water available for other livestock.
The generosity shown by other producers does not come as a surprise, she said.
“Farmers always stick together,” she told Farms.com today. “I know that if I were in this kind of situation that other farmers would offer to help me out, and that’s part of what makes the farming community great.”
Ontarians are also using social media to reach out to producers in need.
Farmers who need to visit livestock can visit the Northern Ontario Fires—Livestock Evacuation Help Facebook page.
A list of people offering space on their farms is also available on the page, along with contact information for these individuals.
“I offered on the Facebook page,” Dave McDowell, a cattle producer from Assiginack, Ont., told the Manitoulin Expositor today. “My cattle are all out on the grass, so I have an empty barn available.”