The feed component of the Northwestern Livestock Emergency Assistance Initiative has officially concluded. The initiative provided 5.8 million pounds of hay to 129 livestock farmers to feed over 11,000 head of beef and dairy cattle, sheep and goats in the Rainy River and Kenora Districts.
The Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) was named as the administrator of the initiative when the announcement was made by the Government of Ontario on July 27 to provide emergency aid to producers in the Rainy River and Kenora Districts who were deeply impacted by devastating drought conditions throughout this year’s growing season.
On August 3, BFO launched the application process for affected producers, and quickly began sourcing feed and transport to provide much-needed forage relief to those in need in the two districts. The collective efforts of industry and farmers made donations and swift delivery possible. Over the course of 60 days, the hay travelled to those in need on a total of 120 trucks, by CN Rail, and endured a collective voyage of over 200,000 kilometers from regions in southern and northeastern Ontario.
“On behalf of our members in the northwest, we are so grateful for the response from Minister Thompson and the Government of Ontario to help Ontario’s livestock farmers navigate the drought of 2021,” says Rob Lipsett, BFO President. “When we work together, we can accomplish great things and we sincerely appreciate the efforts of all of our partners and donors who played pivotal roles in providing an incredible amount of hay to the producers of Rainy River and Kenora in such a short time.”
Aside from providing relief through the government-supported Northwestern Livestock Emergency Assistance Initiative, BFO said in a release it was overwhelmed by the response from fellow farmers who wanted to lend a helping hand by providing either donated forages or offers of surplus hay for sale. On behalf of farmers in the northwest, BFO humbly accepted over $64,000 in financial donations to support its efforts, and used the funds to purchase and transport additional feed for the region.
In a release, the BFO would thanked the following for their generous financial, feed and transport donors, and especially those who provided their valuable time to help BFO execute this initiative with extreme professionalism and precision:
• Chris Martin, Marhaven Agri Inc., hay and transport procurement
• Fritz and Gise Trauttmansdorff, Dunlea Farms Ltd., hay and transport procurement
• Jeff Pollard, Stratton drop site management
• Evan Debney, Kenora drop site management
• The many hay suppliers, transport companies, and drivers from across the province
Mark Horst, Marcrest
Lucknow Kinsmen Club
Ken and Marie McNabb
Dan and Greg Schantz
James and Francis Johnston
Titan Trailers Inc.
Mark Horst, Marcrest
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
Essex Federation of Agriculture
Hastings Federation of Agriculture
Kent Federation of Agriculture
Lambton Federation of Agriculture
Niagara Federation of Agriculture
Simcoe Federation of Agriculture