Vinegar Hill’s newest addition. Clifford is a two week old Canadienne/Red Devon bull calf. /BRITNEY PAGLIUCA Staff

HCFA seek large animal vet

By Britney Pagliuca

On Nov. 1, members of the Haliburton County Farmers Association (HCFA) met to discuss future plans, current projects and ongoing issues for farmers across the county. 

The first topic of discussion was led by Mina Shleifenbaum, owner of The Wild Life Equestrian Facility, who gave updates on the prospect of a new large animal vet for the county. 

Shleifenbaum has been in contact with a vet from Lindsay to discuss the logistics of accommodating the community’s large animal vet needs. Presently, this vet has been servicing Haliburton County by emergency calls only, however the future goal is for them to visit the county once a week.

“We should know soon regarding their decision to take up this contract,” Shleifenbaum said. 

The lack of access to a large animal vet in the county has been an ongoing issue for two years now. 

Carol Lee of Vinegar Hill Farm commented on why this challenge is so serious. “We are legally responsible for our animals and owe them proper care, but this becomes extremely difficult when we are unable to access sufficient tools, medication or medical aid,” she said. 

Shane Dykstra of Split Rock Heritage Homestead advised that perhaps the best thing farmers can do for themselves in the absence of a large animal vet is to constantly check on your herd and reach out to other large animal farmers who hold knowledge about how to care for them and can lend support or advice. 

“It’s disappointing,” Dykstra said, “because inaccessibility to a large animal vet has the potential to deter others from farming and owning large animals in the county.” 

The Haliburton County Farmer’s Association remains hopeful that this issue will soon be resolved, however, as Godfrey Tyler of Waverly Brook Farm said, “we have been hopeful for two years now.” 

HCFA in the Community 

The HCFA has decided that they will be participating in this year’s Santa Clause parade in Haliburton with a Charlotte’s Web themed float. 

HCFA members and the Haliburton Feed and Seed have also opted to make a donation to the Haliburton County Public Library to help fund programs that support children’s literacy. 

If any farmers or other locals are seeking more information about Haliburton County’s Farmers Association, check out their Facebook page and keep an eye out for a new website that is underway.  

An Annual General Meeting will be taking place on Jan. 18, 2024. All are welcome to attend.