Elderly CNY Dairy Farmer Desperately Needs Help to Avoid Being Forced to Sell
Update: You are the BEST Central New York! There has been an overwhelming outpouring of support to help farmer Gary. The help that was so desperately needed has been found.
The original story was shared almost 1,000 times on social media, reaching more than 175,000 people. It truly is heartwarming to see so many willing to help our local farms stay in operation.
Life on the farm is hard. It's gotten so hard for one elderly Central New York farmer he may be forced to sell if he doesn't get some much need help soon.
Gary Jackson is running his farm on Cooper Street in Westmoreland all by himself. It's a difficult job for any man, never mind one in his late 70s.
Hannah Bennett has been helping Gary, who she calls the 'nicest man you'll meet,' for the past 7 years. But she's on maternity leave, caring for a 1-month-old. Hannah has been trying to find help on the farm since she found out she'd be leaving, but no luck.
The farm has about 70 'very friendly' milking cows. "Finding someone full-time would be nice, either for the morning or night shift to milk in a 5x5 parlor," said Hannah. "Normal farm chores also need to be done, like feeding calves, and cows, as well as scraping the barns out."
Help Desperately Needed
Gary has been in the barn basically 24/7 trying to milk his cows twice a day and do all the chores himself since Hannah left. If he doesn't find help soon, the farm that's on its last legs will have to be sold. "He can only do so much, being older and having a bad knee and shoulder. The fieldwork and crops will never be able to get done this year if he can't get out of the barn."
If anyone is interested in helping on the Westmoreland farm, reached out to Hannah on Facebook.