Help save my dad's farm

The other day when my father went to feed his cows, he noticed that a large portion of his herd was missing. It’s not unusual for his cows to break through the fence and hang out with some of the neighbouring farm animals, so we assumed that this was the case. After circling the farm, we found a spot where they had gone through the fence and down to the small lake that borders his property. I jumped out of the truck and went down on the ice to try and see where his cows had wandered. What I saw next shattered my heart into a million pieces. A few meters from the shoreline, his cows had fallen through and were now frozen in the ice, being picked apart by ravens.

I broke into tears instantly.

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My father’s bond with his animals is something that words cannot describe. This is a man who has spent more time with his herd than he has with any other human in the past decade. He began farming a little over 10 years ago. He had grown his herd from a single cow, trading favours for animals along the way and slowly building a herd that, up until a few days ago, had reached over 40 animals. All of his cows are proudly organic. They have names. His farm is self sustaining. He does not use his farm to turn a profit. He sells his cattle to friends, and uses the money for farm maintenance and to feed the remainder of his herd over the winter.


My dad’s farming journey began shortly after retiring from the military where he served as an airforce firefighter. Prior to becoming a firefighter, he served 10 years in the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry. A few years into farming, he fell upon financial hardships. He spent 8 years living in a 15ft x 15ft shack on his property with no electricity or running water. He sacrificed everything to keep his farm going. This time last year we moved him into a mobile home overlooking his pasture. Things were looking up. This spring he had 21 calfs, which is by far his best year to date.

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Seeing my father cry on that lake and scream in agony that his farm would not survive is one of the most painful things that I have experienced as an adult. He’s too proud to ask for help, so I am here asking friends and total strangers. He needs your help.

With only 14 cows remaining and over 20 cows missing, we are estimating the financial damages to be upwards of $40,000. His first cow, Old Mama, was in that ice. Both of his bulls, which he raised from calfs, gone. The animals he had spent countless hours raising and caring for were in that lake. His animals are his reason to live.

Please help my dad. He’s a rare person, and the community that he has grown around his farm is a beautiful thing.

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I have opened this campaign to help my father raise money to rebuild his herd and form new sentimental bonds with his animals. He lives in a small community in northern Alberta. He loves his farm, and I want to do everything in my power to keep his dream alive.

Donations

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  • Deanna Lang 
    • $20 
    • 21 d
  • Thomas Jackman Kuwabara 
    • $5 
    • 26 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 1 mo
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Ryley Norman 
Organizer
Toronto, ON
Michael Norman 
Beneficiary
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