Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of “Hay West”

October 9, 2012

For Immediate Release

October 9, 2012

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of “Hay West”

Ottawa, ON – Larry Miller, MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, would like to recognize the 10th Anniversary of the “Hay West” initiative that began in the summer of 2002.

Ten years ago, Alberta and Saskatchewan were faced with a severe shortage of feed for livestock as they were hit with the worst drought in 133 years of recorded history. Unprecedented starvation of cattle and other animals, loss of income from ruined crops and families facing possible loss of farm income, and the farm itself, seemed certain.

In July of 2002, Willard McWilliams and his son Wyatt of Navan, Ontario decided that they were going to try to organize a relief effort to share the abundant hay crop they had in central and eastern Canada with the west. By October 31st, 2002, 1,800 famers gave over 110,000 large bales of hay to “Hay West”. The hay was delivered by more than 700 rail cars and 160 semi-trailer trucks as more than 1,000 farms received the much-needed feed.

“Ten years ago we witnessed Canadian farmers join together in an effort to keep Canadian agriculture strong and prosperous,” said Miller. “I am proud to say that farmers in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound were a part of this initiative and gave a great deal of support to their counterparts in the west.”

Individual Canadians donated close to $500,000 while Canadian businesses donated nearly $400,000 to the initiative. Furthermore, Canadian rail companies donated rail cars and federal and provincial governments aided in the effort. In 2002, books regarding the initiative were published and can still be purchased from MP Miller’s office. Copies are still available and those interested should feel free to contact Mr. Miller’s office. For more information on the Hay West program please visit; http://www.tdc.ca/hay.htm.

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