Dairy farmers’ trek ends tragically

On July 5, an eye-catching open tractor with a large statue of a Holstein dairy cow on the back was parked at Virden’s Tim Hortons. Sadly, the Ontario dairy farmers who were on a cross-Canada trek met with a tragic accident on Highway 16, near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

 According to a news report, on July 9, Henk and Bettina Schuurmans, from Elmira, Ont. were hit by a semi-truck. Bettina lost her life, Henk was hospitalized.

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They were driving across Canada with a John Deere 6430 open tractor. An online report by the Waterloo Region Record (June 22) said the tractor’s road gear speed was 40 kms per hour, the tractor was a “legal road vehicle, which means the slow-moving tractor will be driving on the highway, not the shoulder.”

A CBC report said the RCMP’s initial investigation suggested both vehicles were going westbound on Highway 16 when the farm tractor was rear ended by the semi.

The couple’s mission was to draw attention to the country's dairy supply management system as a valuable Canadian asset.

Henk Schuurmans suffered serious injuries. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help Henk and the family.


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