BY: Shaleni McBain
Farmers in Canada are coming together for Hay East, an event to help provide hay to farms in need. It’s all part of an attempt to alleviate the hurt that Ontario and Quebec producers feel after this summer’s lack of precipitation.
“I was involved in Hay West 2002,” Bruce Banks, Chief Executive Officer of the 4-H Foundation of Alberta, told Humber News. “We actually dispersed all of the hay into Alberta in 2002. When we received the call on Hay East, it was only natural to want to help or assist in any way to return the favor”
Lynn Jacobson, president of Wild Rose Agricultural Producers, told Humber News that there has already been a large amount of support from western producers and farm groups.
The Mennonite Disaster Services, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Quebec Farmers Association are a few groups who have already stepped forward to help.
“It sort of reaffirms your faith in human nature knowing that people are willing to help. We don’t see that as much anymore and it brings communities together and brings people together,” said Jacobson.
Banks said he is thankful for the gestures of western farmers and finds it great to see some good karma coming back their way after 2002.
“Borders and provinces don’t play a role in agriculture. We are all in this together and we all help one another out same way as we have been going it for hundreds of years. It’s thats basic philosophy of helping your neighbor,” said Banks.
Chris Judd, president of the Quebec Farmers Association, told Humber News that owing to the fact that half of the farmers in Quebec lacked crop insurance, it was vital to find help for this devastating time.
“We are just trying to get things put together at this end so we can receive the hay and get it distributed to the people who really need it,” said Judd. “We’re hoping the governments, both provincial and federal, will help put pressure on the rail lines to help to move the hay.”
A website is being put together to provide farmers and producers with more information on how to assist or donate with Hay East 2012. For further information visit www.hayeast2012.com.