The Norfolk Cattlemen’s Association and Titan Trailers are combining their efforts to send a load of hay to drought-stricken western Canada.
A McCallum Bros. Farms truck carrying roughly 40,000 pounds of hay arrived Friday afternoon from Iona Station, delivered by Paul McCallum to the Titan Trailers facility at 1 Clearview Drive, Tillsonburg, where it will be loaded up for delivery by the end of the month.
“We’re donating hay and Titan Trailers are donating the space on their trailers and delivering it free to southern Saskatchewan,” said Lynedoch’s Larry Chanda, a member of the Norfolk Cattlemen’s Association.
“At our last meeting we decided, knowing what the situation was in the west with the drought and the problems that the ranchers were having trying to feed their cattle, that we would donate some dollars into purchasing a load of hay to ship west and help them.
“I contacted Paul (McCallum), an old acquaintance, and he had hay. He said, ‘I’m going to help you out too.’ So we’re getting this hay for a very, very good price.”
Titan Trailers began shipping donated hay to western Canada earlier in the summer, and so far they have made 10 to 11 shipments.
“We build trailers here (at 1 Clearview) and then we send them to our dealership out west (Ocean Trailer),” said Titan Trailers’ Chris Kloepfer. “Normally they go out empty, but since they need hay we figured we’d talk to people and figure out how to get them hay.
“We’ll keep doing this as long as we can, it’ll probably be bad for them all winter,” said Kloepfer. “They’ll take whatever they can get, I’m sure. We’ll keep doing it until we can’t get hay.”
A beef cow uses roughly 30 pounds of dry matter for feed per day, Chanda noted.
“So if you had a 100-cow herd, a load of roughly 48,000 pounds of hay will feed them for 16 days,” said Chanda.
“Back in 2002, that was probably the closest type of drought,” said McCallum. “It was horrible drought out there.”
“That was a rough year,” Chanda said.
“I remember that,” Kloepfer nodded.
“A similar (hay donation) program was set up and I think government was involved,” said McCallum. “On CBC National one night, I remember seeing old friends of mine from Sherwood Park (Alberta) and they received a load of hay. They were the most deserving people you could ever find, and she got the hay and she went to tears, and I’ll never forget that.”
“A lot of people are real appreciative of that,” said Kloepfer.
“Every 20 years they have one of those drought years,” said Chanda.
“And farmers are pretty good at helping farmers,” said McCallum. “Farmers are always feeding cities, but we can help ourselves sometimes too.”