The Canadian Milk Tour ended in sudden tragedy yesterday morning as Henk and Bettina Schuurman’s tractor collided with a semi-truck just outside of Saskatoon, SK. Bettina passed away at the scene of the accident, while Henk has sustained serious injuries but is in stable condition.
This is not an easy post to write. It’s hard to make sense of something so senseless. Here were two people with incredible passion for the dairy business who wanted to do something meaningful for their industry. Cowsmo first shared the story of Henk and Bettina Schuurmans cross-Canada journey last week, shortly after the couple had landed at Lovholm Holsteins in Balgonie, SK, just east of Regina. Throughout their trek thus far there has been a tremendous outpouring of support for the couple, who’s goal was to draw attention to the supply management system in this country and what getting rid of it would do to family farms from coast to coast. Their passion was evident as they shared their story and handed out milk, buttons and information in every town they stopped. People were excited to see their tractor, along with “Maple” the cow, roll down the road.
With almost 1800 people following their journey on Twitter and countless more on Facebook, Henk and Bettina were uniting a country on their journey, joining people who share a common passion – love of the dairy industry. They weren’t sponsored, they shared their story because it was one they believed in. And now, saying “thank you” just doesn’t seem like enough.
Our sincerest condolences go out to Henk and the rest of the Schuurman family at this time. A GoFundMe page for expenses incurred by the family in the wake of this tragedy has been set up by SaskMilk and the Dairy Farmers of Ontario. If you would like to donate, the link can be found HERE