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News Archive > General > Farmers Humbled By Helping Hands - Harveys lost 25 cows to TB, but crowdfunder raised over £7,200 in support

Farmers Humbled By Helping Hands - Harveys lost 25 cows to TB, but crowdfunder raised over £7,200 in support

By Oliver Young 3rd February 2021

Farmers Humbled By Helping Hands - Harveys lost 25 cows to TB, but crowdfunder raised over £7,200 in support
Fred, Debbie and Jack Harvey thanked those who donated after they lost 25 cows to TB

A family-run farm near Bodmin has been overwhelmed with support after seeing its crowdfunder bring in over £7,000 in just over a week. Fred, Debbie and Jack Harvey of Ryan Park Farm in Lanivet launched the fundraiser after losing 25 of their cows to bovine TB last month.

On launching the scheme to raise the cash, Fred had expected around £1500 in total but has been gobsmacked to see the fundraiser reach more than £7,000 in the short time it has been running. “It has been unbelievable and so humbling, these donations have been an inspiration,” Fred told the Voice.

Initially, Fred admitted, he wasn’t initially keen on the idea of a fundraiser. However, with just over a week gone since the crowdfunder began and with over £7,220 in the bank, the farmer could only thank those who have helped him and the family, for their generosity. “I have seen these schemes before but I have never been involved with one, it is quite amazing,” he added. “Never in a million years did we think this would happen.”

As their dairy cows made their way to their regular bovine TB check, the Harvey family had no idea their life was about to be flipped upside down.

The news they didn’t want to hear arrived, 25 cows were positive for the disease, meaning they would have to be culled from the herd.

The Harveys, Fred and Debbie and their son Jack, were shell-shocked, as the cows had become part of their extended family.

“When it first happened, we were all over the place,” Fred Harvey explained.

“The cows were part of the family, even if that is cliché. We worked with them every day and looked after them. 

“It is like people, the better you treat them, the more you get out of them.”

However, it wasn’t just the emotional harm caused by the positive tests, the Harveys were faced with the immediate financial burden of losing a large chunk of their livestock with an estimated £6,000 a month wiped out overnight.

Fred continued: “In a nutshell, we lost a a quarter of our current milk production overnight but we didn’t lose a quarter of the bills we have to pay and not just that, all the investment into the cows was lost.

“We are no different to anyone else really, we need a certain amount of income before working out what we need to shell out for and then if you are lucky, you can afford a Chinese takeaway at the end of the month.

“It is a really bad short-term problem but we are hoping not necessarily a long-term one.”

When Fred, who runs the dairy farm at Ryan Park Farm in Lanivet with his son Jack, was searching for a solution to his woes, he admitted that he wasn’t initially keen on the idea of a fundraiser. 

However, with just over a week gone since the crowdfunder began and with over £7,000 in the bank, the farmer has been humbled by the generosity of those who have helped him.

“I don’t want to single anyone out because everyone has been so helpful and it really has been an inspiration,” he furthered. 

“It has been very humbling, it is unbelievable. We know people haven’t got much money and it has been an awful 12 months for people, but they are willing to help our cause, it is really touching.

“The whole experience really has been unbelievable and never in a million years did we think this would happen, when it first started, we thought £1500 would have exceeded our expectations.”

With agricultural rules dictating that the farm must wait a minimum of 60 days before restocking, any funds receive will keep the family business alive in the meantime.

Fred concluded by admitting that the fundraiser doesn’t guarantee the farm’s survival but that it has bought his family valuable time as they desperately seek a solution.

He said: “This is going to be a hell of a challenge but with the fundraiser, we have bit more time to play with.”

By Oliver Young 3rd February 2021

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