Send out the hay trucks

Now our farmers are flabbergasted! Four months of almost unbroken sunshine have produced a hay crop of such incredible dimensions that the hauling and storage of all those nearly one-ton bales is becoming an embarrassment.
It’s been many years since the last hay shortage in this district, where cattle lurk around every corner of the road. But now, with much of last season’s hay harvest still on hand, there has arisen the realization that Rainy River District must become a hay sales market.
Our main problem is the cost of transportation. Turn on the news and you will hear how desperately farmers almost everywhere else–east, west, or south–would dearly love to share our bounteous crop.
And God knows there are enough pulpwood racks running our roads to move mountains–if the price was right!
Only, there never has been a trucker who could offer a hay-moving rate on a reasonable basis. Hay is not pulpwood and our papermill has not yet machined up for hay to turn into paper (although that has been proved possible experimentally, I’m told).
Nor can our gravel haulers go in for transporting hay if it means losing gravel sales. And the farmers themselves, even those owning pulp trucks, are in no position to go in for running hundreds of miles with hay loads, merely on speculation.
But it won’t be too late right now for the governments and banks (who all profess to have the farmers’ best interests at heart) to go into action with subsidies to cover loans and look after this fresh form of business.
In a fall like this, with demand for this feed in all directions such as few ever dreamed before, a great opportunity for profit is here–if only hauling costs could be covered somehow. The loading of those hundreds of trucks would be the easy part for our well-equipped farmers.
Let’s hope this district has the right businesspeople to swing this kind of deal and the government people who can see the hauling expenses or losses, if necessary, are worth the trouble.
As every farmer knows very well, a vigorous hay market could be the answer to turning bad times into gold.
Few other areas anywhere in the world are so fortunate for both soil and weather to produce hay by the millions of tons. So if ever a government wanted to do something worthwhile for us, this is the time.
This is also the time, if you’ve noticed, that long-lost Atlantis finally surfaced in full force, as was declared in this column all year.
All this sunshine could have come from no place else because it also followed a springtime full of rain. Those are the ingredients for happiness in our lake country, but also for fame and fortunate as known only before in old Atlantis.
Now, this week, we are suddenly back in Rainy River District after several days of rainfall. We won’t soon forget Atlantis and our time in the sun, but our regular weather conditions aren’t all that bad, either.
So the world can always count on our corner to produce hay in abundance. Other cattle–keeping corners–can arrange their own hay hauling, if necessary.
Our farmers will always look after them, too!
• • •
Among folks my age and even younger, there is every likelihood of strokes occurring and considerable discussion thereof with physicians. They look for the danger signs as Walter Gretsky, father of hockey-famous Wayne, tells about on the milk cartons.
Someone else qualified to speak on the same subject is John Fedoruk, who told me it’s two years now since he was struck while holidaying in Florida. It happened at the right place because U.S. doctors quickly use a needle while this is not common in Canada.
“I was lucky because I got the shot!” as John tells it.
• • •
Those pesky bears are still being hauled out of our apple trees after being tranquilized, but they seem to be in peril of running out of apples and garbage long before their hibernation season begins.
Yet they can’t go to sleep on empty stomachs so some fresh strategy will have to be developed for them, and this is of no small concern for our police and conservation officers.
The main problem will be growing familiarity with bears among our kids and dogs!
• • •
While we await the book being produced by Neil McQuarrie on Fort Frances’ history and first 100 years, you might look to the library for the other local authors.
These would include James Andrews of Devlin recently. Irvine Livingstone, whose book of poetry was titled “Flax Afire,” and also local teacher Sam Solaryk and the book, “Flaming Dance,” by a minister here years ago.
Then there is another author, Gladys Fines, the Winnipeg sister of George O. Sturdy. This amounts to a great variety from our smallish population!
• • •
You’d better look into a serious problem for our amateur radio or “ham” operators who will be needing their own tower if they can’t make a new deal with Ontario Hydro.
Our hams are our only hope for obtaining outside assistance in local disasters and they’ve been very helpful in past years.
• • •
Thanks to both Tony Penkoff and the “Friends of Animals” for helping to feed us last Saturday at both ends of town.
Tony of Lakewood Tires turns into quite a cowboy on occasion and his entertainers, “Milestone,” are just as great swingers. Meanwhile, Mike Pearson and the “Friends,” while at Pither’s Point with their hamburgers, were presenting some other great musicians, the Rainy Lake Highlanders.

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