Henk & Bettina Schuurmans set off on the journey of a lifetime across Canada at the end of June. Their mode of transportation? A tractor! They will be enjoying the Canadian landscapes on their John Deere 6430 along with “Maple” a full-sized plastic cow that is strapped to the back.
The Schuurmans, who dairy farm with their family on Milk Wave Dairy in Elmira, ON, are making the trek across the country to promote the dairy supply management system in Canada and how it affects family farms like theirs. They strongly believe, along with many smaller dairy producers across the country, that removing the supply management system will effectively end family farms.
Reaching speeds of up to 40km/hr, Henk and Bettina estimate it will take them 30-40 days to reach Vancouver, BC, while traveling on highways and sideroads that permit slow moving vehicles.
The couple arrived at Lovholm Holsteins in Balgonie, SK, on Thursday, July 5, and were greeted by the hospitality of Michael and Jessica Lovich as well as an enthusiastic group of Saskatchewan dairy producers. They are now bound for Lacombe, AB.
Relying on the hospitality of dairy producers along their route, the Schuurmans plan to haul their John Deere tractor back to Ontario by trailer and embark on an east coast route to Halifax sometime later this fall. You can follow their journey on Facebook and Twitter @CDNMilkTour or #cdnmilktour
Photos courtesy of Milky Wave Dairy Inc.