Dairy community steps up to help Tecumseh farm devastated by fire
The dairy community has responded to help keep surviving cows safe after a devastating fire at a Tecumseh farm.
Jobin Farms lost 100 cows as fire ripped through two barns on Concession 11 around 6 p.m. on Monday night.
A straw-shredder caught fire, quickly consuming the two barns and causing millions of dollars in damage.
Fire prevention officer Bob Hamilton says 225 dairy cattle were in the barn when the fire broke out. He says about 150 made it out alive.
The surviving cattle were herded away from the heavy smoke.
Farm owner Phil Jobin says the dairy community came out almost immediately to show their support.
“There are a few different dairy farmers that actually (Monday) night, when this happened,” says Jobin. “It was we had every single dairy farmer in Essex County show, with their families and stuff.”
Hundreds of spare hands, helping herd the surviving cattle to safety, some just offering a shoulder to lean on.
“That was pretty incredible, I'll tell ya," says Jobin.
Jobin says near the end of the night, dozens upon dozens of trailers lined the road waiting to haul the cattle away to their temporary homes.
Vicky Morrison and her husband William own and operate Bally Bright Farms in Lakeshore. They've been around since 2013. When they heard about the fire, there was no question where they needed to be.
“We would never see any of our brothers in trouble," says Vicky Morrison.
The Morrisons took in 56 cows after monday night's fire.
“When you're a member of a community like this, that's what you do,” says Vicky Morrison.
“When you see others in trouble, you go to help. No matter if it's the smallest thing you can do, that's just who all dairy farmers are.”
She says they wanted to get the cows out of that stressful and traumatic situation as quickly and as easily as they could.
The cows also need to be milked twice a day. Any interruption, Morrison says, would only create further trauma.
“We didn't want them to get mastitis,” says Morrison. “So that whatever Paul and Phil and their father decide to do, that those cows are ready and waiting for them to be able to do what they need to do with them."
Morrison admits there's a lack of wiggle room at Bally Bright Farms, but no lack of hospitality.
“We rally together, we'll make it work,” she says. “We just want the boys to get back on their feet again."
The Jobin family never once asked for help, as it turns out, they didn't need to.
They're still trying to sort out who's who as all the records were lost in the fire.
Morrison says all the cows they took in, seem to be healthy and are producing well, given the circumstances.
A number of other non-producing cows have gone elsewhere.