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Hope.....does not disappoint us....

By:  Lynn Kotrba - Executive Director's cold outside!  It may be January and it may be cold outside, but one thing is for sure, it is not always cold in the Red River Valley and our region has some of the warmest hearts around!  Recently, the majority of our family traveled to Florida for a dance trip for our girls.  There were many first for five of our seven kids that were traveling with us.  First time on a plane, in an airport, in Florida, at the ocean and so much more.  One thing that the older ones noticed is that people in other parts of the country just are not as nice as what they are used to here in the Red River Valley.  On one occasion, 8 of us were walking on the pier at the beach and stopped so that we wouldn't walk through the middle of a picture that someone was trying to take.  The people couldn't believe we stopped and thanked us immensely.  To my kids it was just common sense, a simple gesture of kindness that went a long way for that family.  

It won't always be cold here....right?  Right!  Soon we will turn the page on January and February soon after.  March will be here and with that I hope for sunshine.  At Harvest Hope Farm we always look forward to spring as we get ready for our youth camps and for lambing season.  It gets busy here come May-September and this year will be no exception.  We expect to have around 25 new lambs born in May and June, such an exciting time especially for the kids in farm camp who get to interact with those sweet new lambs and learn all about how to care for them.  Our lambs are quite spoiled if you ask me.  We hope that some of these lambs will be carriers of the GM1 gene.  Those who are will be retained in our flock so that we can breed them for Huntington's Disease Research in cooperation with Glycoscience Research.  This promising research is bringing Hope to families of those affected by this terrible disease.

In addition to our new lambs, we will welcome 40 youth to the farm each week for Harvesting Hope for Others Farm Camp!  It's hard to believe that this will be our 5th year of farm camps!  Some of you told us we were crazy 5 years ago....from 15 youth to 40 and we plan to keep growing!  We will also welcome 48 young children to the farm for Llama Llama Camps this summer, because Hey!  Who doesn't love llamas!  Abu and Raven are getting ready for Llama Llama Camp (although I don't really think they know what they are in for) and we are all looking forward to these 3-5 years olds spending 4 days with us at the farm in June and August!  You can read more about both of these camps in this newsletter and registration opens in February!

I am also very excited to tell you that we are on the grow at Harvest Hope Farm and hope that you will help us grow!  In partnership with Audubon Dakota we will soon be grazing sheep at Oakport Prairie!  Oakport Prairie is located on the very northwest side of Moorhead and is currently managed by Audubon Dakota.  A small portion of our sheep will have the opportunity to help restore the prairie beginning in June 2022.  We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Audubon Dakota to restore and study the prairie while also educating the community about the relationship between conservation and agriculture.  This is going to be a huge project and we will need many hands to help us fence the area that will be used.  Stay tuned and subscribe to our website to be notified of volunteer opportunities for your work place, family or yourself!

Yes, it's cold outside.  Since our return from Florida we have longed to go back for the beautiful warm weather, but we wouldn't change where we live because we know that some of the warmest hearts around are here in this region!  I will close with inviting you to be a part of Giving Hearts Day 2022 on Thursday February 10th.  There are so many amazing charities that you have the opportunity to give to on this day.  Some of our favorites include Box of Balloons, Down Home, Fix it Forward, JP2 Schools, Lotus and Sacred Heart among so many more.  We hope that you will join us on Giving Hearts Day by supporting Harvest Hope Farm and other charities that you believe in!

May your days be filled with blessings and your hearts be warmed by those around you.

Jason and Lynn Kotrba (and family)

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