Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pssssst .... Wanna Buy a Cow? Stormy Says Please

I told the story of Stormy and Hope yesterday, but I also want to let you know of the wonderful human involvement in the 'Save the Prison Farms' campaign.

A woman by the name of Dianne Dowling has been working herself to exhaustion and because of her efforts, and those of hundreds of volunteers and concerned citizens, there is still a chance to save this important piece of our heritage.

Sadly, the cattle at Frontenac Institute were taken away and sold, but there are still several who are with calf that can be saved.

And no one is giving up the fight. A Co-op has been formed and you can now own a share of history. If every Canadian put themselves behind this, we just might be able to reverse one of the worst government decisions ever made.

There will be a pot luck in Kingston, Ontario tomorrow (August 19) but if you are unable to attend, you can still help.

Visit the website here. There is a link for donations.

Or call Jeff Peters at 613-353-2403 to buy a share.

1. proposal for creating the Pen Farm Herd Co-op -- a chance to own a share of the herd

We are actively exploring the creation of a non-profit co-operative, to own a part of the Pen Farm herd. The proposal is described below and in the attachment.

If you would like to buy one or more shares, please bring a cheque for $300/share to the picnic on Thursday. If you are not attending the picnic and are interested
in buying a share, contact Jeff or Dianne at the phone numbers listed in the proposal.

The remainder of the herd is being auctioned Monday, Aug. 23, so we need to know how many committed shares we have. Pen Farm Herd Co-op
"Wanna Be a Farmer?” - Help Save the Herd !

Goal: To preserve a core of the Frontenac Institution Pen Farm dairy herd, with the intention of returning the cows to the prison farm when the Frontenac prison farm is restored. We believe that at some point we’ll sell the cows back to the new government for a return on your investment.

Background: At the sale on August 10, Kingston area residents purchased four milking cows and two young cattle. As well, there are 15-20 milking cows and several calves still at the prison farm because the cows were too close to their calving dates to be trucked. Correctional Service of Canada plans to sell these cattle at noon on August 23 at Selby Livestock facility, near Napanee.

1) Working with OPIRG (Ontario Public Interest Research Group, based at Queen’s University), we are investigating establishing a non-profit co-operative to oversee the ownership and care of 15-20 cows and 5-10 calves purchased from the Pen Farm dispersal.

OPIRG Kingston is part of a network of OPIRG groups and has the capacity to oversee the finances of this project. We will recruit an interim group of directors to set up the co-op and draft its bylaws, in consultation with community members. The shareholders will elect a board of directors and vote on the bylaws.

A share in the co-op will cost $300.00. We estimate that we will need to sell 60-70 shares ($18,000 to $21,000) for the Co-op to purchase the number of cows and calves indicated in step 1. About four shares will cover the purchase cost of one cow, but shareholders will not be seen as owning a particular cow, but rather having a share in the herd. We will develop an agreement to present to local dairy farmers. These people would care for the cattle until the prison farm is restored.

The Co-op will purchase cows and calves at the sale and loan them to local farmers who commit to properly caring for our cows. The farmers will be able to ship the milk from the Co-op cows through their quota, thus receiving payment for caring for the cattle. Any calves born to the cows will belong to the Co-op.

Listen to all the horns honking. Listen to the voices. For those poor cattle, Frontenac Institute was their only home. I live just a few blocks from that farm and it has always been a part of our community. I have always felt safe. The planned super prison for the land will endanger this community. This is not only an assault on farmers, but it is an assault on all of us. Please help.


  1. The Dowling family has a history of involvement with farm issues (John and Joyce were founding members of the National Farmer's Union in 1969) and Dianne has stepped into a leadership role in this in a big way.

    The whole family is very proud of her (my wife is one of her sisters-in-law) and what she's managed to accomplish.

  2. You should be proud. She's amazing. I've never seen so much passion. My husband and I will be buying a share.