let's talk farm animals

Recalling one barn fire story during Fire Prevention Week

By Patricia Grotenhuis, 6th generation farmer

The heifer barn before the fire.

The heifer barn before the fire.

Waking to pounding at the door at 1:45 a.m. one June morning, we struggled to open our eyes. Nothing could have prepared us for the sight of flames shooting out of our barn. As my husband raced outside yelling a thank you to the girls who were at the door, I rushed for the phone to call for help. We already knew the barn could not be saved, but were immediately aware that the other buildings were in danger if the flames spread.
We had no idea if all of the heifers were outside on pasture. With our setup, they have the freedom to move back and forth between the barn and pasture as they please. We had to make sure the ones who were on pasture did not return to the barn, though.

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on October 8th, 2014 :: Filed under Animal care,animal handling,Barn fires
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In the face of crisis

By Jeanine Moyer

Living on a farm means we live farther away from our neighbours than most people. Instead of lawns and fences separating our house from the neighbour’s we have fields and streams. Sometimes I think the distance between each farm can make the relationship between neighbours stronger. And tests the strength of a relationship like an illness or disaster when neighbours come together to face adversity.

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on July 19th, 2012 :: Filed under animal handling,Barn fires,Barns,Family vs factory farming,Farm life,Sustainability of the family farm
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Animals on the loose

by Kristen Kelderman, Farm Animal Care Coordinator

During the past five years living away from home, I have travelled the notorious 401 highway back to Eastern Ontario too many times to count.

Through blistering heat waves and slippery icy pavement, I have endured the three and a half hour drive often thinking how dull, boring and monotonous it has become. It was brought to my attention recently that, in reality, the hustle and bustle of the highway is anything but humdrum. In a matter of seconds all chaos can break out; it’s a special concoction of travelling at high speeds with little focus and numerous distractions. Add in a pinch of road rage and you’ve got the potential for a ticking time bomb.

Accidents are no new reality for those who use the highway to commute to work every day. We share the roads with other commuters, school buses, taxis, vacationers, transport trucks, police and farm animals…yes that’s right folks, farm animals.

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on April 26th, 2012 :: Filed under Animal care,animal handling,Barn fires
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Answering a few questions about animal care in a chance encounter

 By Patricia Grotenhuis, lifelong farmer and agricultural enthusiast.

December 22, 2020 - During the summer, I attended the Canadian National Exhibition with the Ontario Farm Animal Council’s (OFAC)  spokesrobot Oprah.  Most of the questions we were asked were fairly general, but there was one comment which has stuck in my mind since then.

 It is one I’m sure everyone in agriculture has heard at some point, and if they have not heard it yet, they will soon.  While we were on our way to the parking lot at the end of the day, a gentleman stopped us and asked what Oprah was for.  I briefly explained that she is an educational assistant sent to events such as fairs and festivals by the Ontario Farm Animal Council, and followed up by telling him who OFAC is and what it does.

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Posted by FFC on December 22nd, 2010 :: Filed under Animal care,animal handling,Animal health,Barn fires,Codes of Practice,Consumers,Dairy cattle,Education and public awareness,Farm life,Housing,Innovation and technology,Regulations,Research,Sustainability of the family farm,Uncategorized