End of the line?
Without help fifth generation family farmer may give up
Don White of Stephenville says the flooding this past weekend in the Noel’s Pond valley is the worst he’s ever seen in his family’s history.
He and his brother Louis White, also of Stephenville, are fifth generation farmers on the property, which was devastated by weekend flooding with water getting into buildings that it hadn’t before and sand, silt, rocks and trees strewn about the property.
The tears come as his wife Myra White talks about being glad that Don’s mother, Cecilia White, who died in July of 2017, is not around to see these damages because she loved the property so much.
Flooding on the farm is not new as water has got onto it before but never to the extent it did this time, also taking out their tame raspberry and strawberry patches, the area where they plant their crops and ruining a big section of their hayfield.
“I don’t like to say it, but I’ve been telling government officials what needs to be done to remedy this for the past 27 years and nobody listens,” Don said.
He said starting with his father Albert White, they’ve been dealing with these flooding issues since 1972 but problems never existed before that.
White said since he and Louis have taken over the farm from his father he’s had several dozen meetings with Town of Stephenville officials and all pertinent government departments, including water resources people and MHA John Finn last October.
“During the years they all acknowledged there was a problem and walked away saying they would do something but here we are decades later and the problem still exists,” he said.
White said Global Warming is being blamed for the flooding in the area but he doesn’t buy that and blames it on barriers put up through the years.
“Combine barriers with clear cutting in the hills in the last 10 to 15 years up to the end of the Warm Creek system and the result is flash flooding,” he said.
White said with the amount of damage at the farm right now, if they don’t get some kind of assistance, he don’t know where he’s going with it.
“We (him and Louis) don’t have the resources to deal with those damages,” he said. “It could be the end of the line for farmers in the family.”
5IJT QIPUP UBLFO PO .POEBZ PG UIF 8IJUF QSPQFSUZ JO /PFM T 1POE TIPXT XIBU KVTU TPNF PG UIF EFWBTUBUJPO GPMMPXJOH UIF øPPE XBUFST XIFO 8BSN $SFFL PWFSøPXFE JUT CBOLT JOUP UIF QSPQFSUZ
/PFM T 1POE GBSN DP PXOFS %PO 8IJUF MPPTFOT VQ TPNF DPNNFSDJBM TJEJOH GSPN NVE BOE TJMU GSPN OFBSCZ 8BSN $SFFL EVSJOH øPPEJOH PO UIF XFFL FOE 5IF TJEJOH XIJDI IF JOUFOET PO QVUUJOH PO IJT CBSO OFYU TVNNFS XBT TUSFXO BCPVU UIF QSPQFSUZ