I intend to fight to save our industry

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Dear Editor: I am saddened to see the Port au Port Development Association wants to sell the assets that I believe belong to the farmers of the west coast of Newfoundland.

What gives them that right?

The agricultural buildings, grain storage, vegetable storage and the old slaughterhouse were put there for farmers.

I was a member of the board at that time when we agreed that they will be never be sold and would always be there for farmers to use for agricultural storage for hay or farm equipment.

Maybe there will be farmers who need more room to store hay or grain and any who want to increase their herd but cannot afford to build a hay barn. Maybe the slaughterhouse can be reopened.

Just the flooring and concrete the floors are made from is worth a fortune and to redrill another water well would be expensive.

These building were put there by the taxpayers for farmers, or people want to become farmers.

I will do all I can to prevent these buildings from being sold and I plan to get the support I need from farmers. While there is one sheep or cow, goat, pig, chicken in the Port au Port area, these facilities should never be lost.

Over the years, the association made tons of money from rent collected from these buildings to keep their own doors open and never put a penny toward upkeep as far as I know.

On another subject, the Shur-Gain feed plant wants to close its doors.

I remember about 10 years ago, Shur-Gain carried out renovations and installed grain tanks so feed could be brought in by ship to provide cheaper feed and cut farmers’ costs.

As far as I understand the situation:

‰    The renovations and the new grain tanks were put there by grants from taxpayers’ money.

‰    Ships were never used ... and all feed was trucked in.

‰    Farmers never did get any cheaper feed. Prices kept going up.

We should not give up this plant and look into inviting Purina to  move to Stephenville or other options.

In conclusion, it seems to me government wants to kill the agricultural livestock industry in the Port au Port area and Bay St. George’s area.

I’m moving back to Ship Cove this year and I still have a sheep starter flock.

I intend to go into sheep farming in a big way and I have concerns about how things are developing.

Sam Jesso, Fort St. John, B.C.

Organizations: Dear Editor, Port au Port Development Association

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Port au Port, Stephenville Ship Cove

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