A MESSAGE FROM THE FARM: JULY 2019
By Lynn Kotrba, Executive Director
In this issue of Keeping “Ewe” in the Loop, I am excited to share some of the amazing activities that happen on the farm in spring and summer! As you will hear from Dr. Kimberly Vonnahme, spring is a very exciting time in the barn, a time when we work hard to make sure our sheep are properly cared for so they may continue to benefit medical science research for Huntington’s disease (HD). You will also hear about some of the fun education that is currently happening in our 2019 Harvesting Hope for Others Farm Camp. Be sure to read another creative piece of Ewe’s News by our very own Autumn Kotrba and a special story about how one family has been affected by Huntington’s disease.
All these topics lead me to reflect on the many amazing people that help to make Harvest Hope Farm possible! If you have ever lived or worked on a farm, you know the work is not easy, and although our farm is not nearly as big as others, it still takes diligent work — day in and day out — to make it function effectively and properly for the animals to remain healthy. Much of this day to day care of the farm and animals is conquered by our “farmer human” Jason. Jason is the hands of the farm and spends hours each day making sure the needs of the animals are met. However, let us note that Jason (and I) will not take credit for the work alone. We have learned all that we know about the “special” sheep from a couple of amazing people. First, Dr. Vonnahme has taught us what we need to know and more about these creatures we have come to love over the past year. Dr. Vonnahme’s love for the sheep, and even the pigs, shines bright when she is working with the animals or teaching the farm camp kids about them! Second, we owe much gratitude to a special PhD student, Alex, who we have come to care deeply for over the past year. Alex has a heart of gold and is willing to help with the animals at a moment’s notice. Usually, this means wrestling with them so we can get vaccinations or some other procedure done, but Alex does not seem to mind! We appreciate all that you do for Harvest Hope Farm, Alex!
We also have some amazing farm camp volunteers that I am especially thankful for each Wednesday evening! Liz, Anne, Andrea, and Karissa have been true assets and mentors to our children attending farm camp. These women are truly positive examples for each child at farm camp; they keep the kids active, on-task and help them conquer anything that they need to get done. Thank you ladies!
Last but not least are our amazing sheep sponsors! In this issue, you will hear from Karen Floyd and in we will continue to highlight our sponsors through this newsletter, as well as through our Facebook page. Each sponsor is special to us and to the mission of Harvest Hope Farm. Although not all are affected directly by HD, they all know or have come to know someone who has been affected by it. Our sponsors have made the decision to do what they can to help in the fight for a cure for a disease that wreaks so much havoc. We are excited that within the next week, all sheep sponsors from 2018 to the present will be represented on a wall in the barn. Keep an eye out for pictures!
Finally, a cordial invite to all for our 2nd Annual Harvest Hope Fundraiser! This year’s event will be held on Sunday, September 8 from 4-8pm at the farm! This is sure to be a fun time for the entire family with an old-fashion pig roast, silent auction, bake sale, free kids’ games and new this year — Dumbledore’s Drop! Watch your mail in the coming weeks for more information on this year’s fundraiser!