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Friday, February 29, 2008

To Save A Farm, We Must Save A Farmer

One of our humble readers and ardent supporters informed us of a devastating loss for one of Ogden Valley's last remaining farmers, and has challenged us to help with a fund-raising campaign on behalf of our neighbors.

We at the forum are honored to help out and urge all residents and friends of Ogden Valley to help a neighbor in need. We have taken a much needed break from the Powderville land grab, and will direct our efforts to helping others - please join us:

To Save a Farm, We Must Save a Farmer

Ogden Valley began as a farming community and held that distinction for well over a century until dirt became worth more than alfalfa. During the ‘80's, the federal government subsidized farmers to stop or reduce the production of milk as well as crops. The local effect meant that many lifelong farmers sold their herds and ultimately cashed in by selling and subdividing their property.

Fast forward to 2008, and there are very few full time farmers or ranchers in the valley. Holsteins have been replaced with homes.

Farming is a tough way to make a living and the profit margin is slim. Often, farmers have to mortgage everything they have just to plant the spring crops.

Farmers today face even more challenges. Neighbors, who move into once farm land to enjoy the rural atmosphere, complain about the stench and noise from the bordering farm land, even though the farm and animals have been there for more than a century. Or when an animal escapes from the field, the farmer lives in fear of legal action if the cow gets hit by a car or causes property damage.

Our Local Farmer

Tracy Woolsey grew up on a farm in Morgan County. He married Casa Lewis from Liberty and they chose to raise their family in Huntsville. Tracy decided to give his kids the same farm life he grew up with, and while the path has not been easy, it has been fulfilling, as he farms hundreds of acres in the Huntsville area. He has a genuine love for the land and has imparted that love onto his kids who tirelessly work by his side. The Woolsey’s may well be the hardest working family in Ogden Valley.

The Woolsey’s suffered a devastating loss recently as a result of near record snowfall this year. Their farm equipment has been stored in one of the Monastery’s out buildings, and the building collapsed under the snow load, causing substantial damage to the Woolsey’s equipment. To add insult to injury, much of the equipment was self insured, i.e., uninsured.

In true Valley spirit and in conjunction with the Ogden Valley Forum and Ogden Valley News, we are urging everyone to dig deep and offer anything you can to help the Woolsey’s rebuild, repair and replace. Tracy, the tough and stoic farmer, is full of pride and would rather handle the issue silently and solely, but we cannot sit back and watch our neighbor suffer alone.

The Ogden Valley Forum, has created a donation link where you can submit donations electronically. An account has also been created at Zion’s Bank for the effort, and you may send checks made out to “The Woolsey Farm Relief Fund” in care of:

Woolsey Farm Relief Donation Account #553317405
c/o Zion’s Bank
2555 Wolf Creek Rd.
Eden, UT 84310

While you are at the Valley Market, you may also stop by Zion’s Bank and make a deposit to the account.

One Hundred percent of your donations will go to the Woolsey’s to help them rebuild (excluding nominal fees charged by PayPal for electronic donations). There is no overhead.

We also urge Scouts, Church and School groups to remember the Woolsey’s in their fund raising and service projects.

Watch the Ogden Valley Forum and Ogden Valley News for updates and more information, and thanks for your support.

To save a farm, we must first save a farmer.

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