Archive for Andrea Crowe

Why the Dairy Community is the Greatest in the World….

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crImagine this….you wake up in the wee hours of the night to smell smoke, you discover that your house is on fire, and your grandchild is trapped in her bedroom, with no way to escape.  What would you do?

This is exactly the scenario Patricia Stiles of Waverly Jerseys found herself in this past Monday morning.  Without regard for her own life, she ran through the fire to t reach her seven-year-old granddaughter Reese Burdette.  Both are now battling for their lives.

The fire, which apparently started with an electrical cord, quickly spread through the two-story home of Patricia and Mike Stiles at Waverly Farm Jerseys of Clear Brook, Virginia.  Reese and her sister, 3 year old Brinkley Burdette, were staying at their grandparents’ home for the weekend.  They are the daughters of Claire and Justin Burdette of the Holstein farm Windy Knoll View, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.  Mike Stiles went to Brinkley’s room and grabbed her, and Patricia Stiles went to Reese’s bedroom — where the fire originated — to get her.  Mike and Brinkley escaped the fire unharmed.  Both Reese and Patricia were badly burned and suffered smoke inhalation.  Patricia was airlifted to MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Reese was airlifted to Johns Hopkins Hospital.  35% of Reese’s body has second- and third-degree burns, but “She is stronger than we could ever believe and definitely a fighter!” comments Reese’s father.  Doctors have estimated she will need at least 15 to 30 surgeries over the next few months – many for skin grafting.  Reese is a brave, strong little girl.  She is quickly winning the hearts of nurses and doctors.  The doctors at Johns Hopkins are optimistic about where she is right now, but they are taking it day to day.  Thanks to the heroic efforts of her grandmother.

reese burdette

The outlook for Patricia is not as optimistic, but her vitals are good and that is positive news.  Patricia’s lungs are inflamed and about 27 percent of her body — mostly her face, arms, hands and feet — have suffered mostly third-degree burns.  Doctors are hopeful about both Patricia and Reese, but say it will be a long recovery.  The doctor was very ‘frank’ with the family in explaining that they still need ‘many prayers, a little luck and his best work’ for Patricia to pull through this.  So please, please continue to pray for Patricia and Reese.  Patricia is truly a hero because she has always said she would put her life before her grandkids, and she did exactly that. (Read more:  Patricia Stiles –Dairy Farmer, Grandmother, Hero, Fighting for Her Life!)

Resse's mothers day card for Claire

Resse’s mothers day card for Claire

If the names Justin Burdette and Windy Knoll View seem familiar, that is because Justin was the Judge at this past year’s World Dairy Expo.  (Read more: World Dairy Expo 2013 Holstein Show Preview – Everything You Need To Know To Get Ready For the Show and World Dairy Expo 2013 Holstein Show Results)  Known for their excellent breeding program, they have bred more than 150 Excellent Holsteins carrying the Windy Knoll View prefix, including two 96-point, four 95-point, and twelve 94-point animals.  Their farm has won numerous Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor awards, including the 2006 World Dairy Expo Premier Breeder Award, which I am sure Justin, would trade in a heartbeat for the safe recovery of his daughter and mother in law.

Justin Burdette awarding Bonaccueil Maya Goldwyn Grand Champion honors at the 2013 World Dairy Expo Holstein Show

Andrea Crowe

Since news of this tragic event, first broke (Patricia Stiles –Dairy Farmer, Grandmother, Hero, Fighting for Her Life!) the outpouring of support from the Dairy community has been extremely heartwarming.  One thing that has proven itself repeatedly is that, when tragedy strikes a member of the dairy community, the community steps up to support their members.  Since starting the Bullvine, we have seen this several times.  A recent example of the strength of the dairy community was when Andrea Crowe from Hi-Calibre Holstein in Atlantic Canada was battling cancer.  (Read more:  It’s Time To Pull Together and Support One of Our Own, Friends of Andrea Crowe Fundraiser Raises over $83,000 and Who Is Going To Miss You When You Die?)  Though Andrea ultimately lost her battle to this rare cancer, the outpouring of support for Andrea from around the world was outstanding and even in her passing the dairy community has not forgotten her with the introduction of a special award to be awarded each year at the Royal Winter Fair.  (Read more:  Andrea Crowe – Passionate till the end and Joel Phoenix Named 2013 Andrea Crowe Achievement Award)

Tragic losses are not new to the dairy community.  From barn roofs collapsing under the pressure from snow (Read more:  Barn Roofs: The Bigger the snow… the Harder the Fall) to whole herds being lost to fires (Read more: 100 cattle dead after barn fire at Markvale Holsteins, Fire strikes one of Ontario’s largest dairies – London Dairy Farms and 150 Cows Dead in Quebec Barn Fire). Fires have certainly been devastating to members of the dairy community.  One constant, however, is the way the dairy community has rallied around the farmers who have suffered such great loss.  Clarence Marcus of Markvale Holsteins who lost his herd to a fire last July (Read more: Your Barn Is On Fire!) tells us how amazed they are at the way the dairy community came to their aid in a time of need.  Producers from around the world were offering support to Clarence and his family, and thanks to that support and the great character of the Macrus family, they will soon be milking in their rebuilt barns (Watch for more on this coming soon).

Perhaps the things that break our hearts are the very things that serve to open them.

From baby calves that die seemingly for no reason to cherished cattle that die unexpectedly, there is no shortage of heartbreak in being a dairy farmer.  (Read more:  The Magic of Francesca and 8 of the greatest Dairy Love Stories in the World)  Facing these issues on a reoccurring basis has made the dairy community strong and quick to support their fellow members whenever the need arises.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Life’s most painful experiences are the very circumstances that introduce us to who we really are.  During easy times, we can be caught up in shallow pursuits and pleasures.  Hard times cause us to dig deeper.  Less meaningful concerns fall aside, and we awaken to what’s truly important.  Family, friends, and relationships are all that matters.  Whatever curve balls life throws at them, the dairy community instantly steps up with prayers, support, and encouragement for their members.  That is when the dairy community is at its best.

Those wanting to show their support can do one of the following:

  • Helping Heroes: Fundraiser to Support the Stiles & Burdette Families
  • To contribute to Patricia and Reese’s Fund please Click HERE.
  • Lets show Reese Burdette how much we are thinking and praying for her with a card shower! Here is her address: John Hopkins Hospital, 1800 Orleans Street , Baltimore , MD. 21287 Attn: Reese Burdette, Bloomberg 4- South Room # 25
  • Bank account set up for Patricia Stiles and Reese Burdette. Mail checks to Capital One Bank 12806 Shank Farm Way Hagerstown , Maryland 21742. Place the names Patricia Stiles and Reese Burdette in the memo of check.

Please like and share this article to help support the family and spread the word about how amazing the dairy community is.



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Friends of Andrea Crowe Fundraiser Raises over $83,000

A while back I said that we are not going to be an event-reporting website.  However, I have to break my own rule for this great event.  For those of you who don’t know, Andrea Crowe, from Broad Cove & Hi-Calibre Holsteins, has been in hospital since last August.  To assist the family with the financial burdens associated with Andrea’s illness (to read more It’s Time to Pull Together and Support One of Our Own) and her much needed care at the Mayo Clinic, the Eastern Canadian dairy community put on a great event, Friends of Andrea Crowe Fundraiser, that raised over $83,000.

Angela Masters came up with the idea and did much of the work, but as one close friend, Marie-Eve Veronneau, put it, “It was really easy because everybody loves and admire Andrea.”  And yes, without doubt Andrea is really an amazing person, but it still took the hard work of Angela, Marie-Eve, Brian Craswell, Amber Craswell, Blair Weeks, Bloyce Thompson, Bruce Wood and many others to help make this event such a success.

What Is a Sale Without Great Consignments?

Of course, none of this would have happened without some great consignments.  One such consignment drawing a lot of attention was a framed print of the Mount Victoria Barn donated by Suntor Holsteins.  Kevin Sundborg met Andrea over 10 years ago while clipping in the Maritimes.  “She is a hard worker, and you could tell she was friends with everyone.”  It’s that early connection the lead to a strong friendship and when Andrea needed their help, it was a no brainer for the Sundborg family of Ormstown PQ.  “We wanted to help out with Andreas Fundraiser because she is a person who is always positive, and expects nothing in return.  She loves her family, friends, and cattle and she is always smiling.  When we saw there was going to be a Fundraiser it was automatic we wanted to help her.”

Not having any embryos to donate to the sale Sheila Sundborg asked Brian Craswell if a picture would be suitable.  “We thought this picture of Mount Vic would be appealing to a wide range of people, from Holstein History buffs, to those who simply like old aged barns.”  And what a great idea it was.

Mount Victoria Barn

The History of Mount Victoria

The story of Thomas Bassett Macaulay and the Mount Victoria farm dates back to the early 1900’s.  It became famous for its breeding program for Holsteins, under the “Montvic” prefix.  Macaulay was the President of Sun Life Company from 1915 to 1934.  The farm, located in Hudson, Quebec, started out as a simple country home and hobby farm until the 1920s when Macaulay bought “Johanna Rag Apple Pabst” (Old Joe) a prize-winning Holstein bull, and six pure-bred Holstein cows (including Abbekerk and Posh lines).  Macaulay was the recipient of a Master Breeder Award and was inducted into the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame.

“One of the greatest geneticists of all-time was T.B. Macaulay.  He learned through experiments with corn and beans then put that knowledge into practice by breeding Holstein cattle.  Mt. Victoria Farm was located on a plateau atop a beautiful small mountain near where the Ottawa River flows into the great St. Lawrence.  The herd was founded in 1924 and dispersed in 1942 at an average nearly double the previous record for either a Canadian or a U.S. Holstein dispersal.  Mort Butchers, one of history’s greatest herdsmen, played an important part at Mt. Victoria.  In 1948, six years after the dispersal, there were six Gets of Sire shown at the Royal Winter Fair.  The first five were all by bulls carrying the “Montvic” prefix.  Montvic Rag Apple Gladiator, sire of Osbornedale Ty Vic, was bred by Mr. Macaulay.”  ~Horace Backus, Seed Stock

Today the main dairy barn is still standing albeit showing some age.  There have been discussions between the current owners, the Town of Hudson and the Historical Society about the future of the site.  This small remnant of a world-famous farm is of considerable heritage and architectural interest.

An Unlikely Buyer Makes a Very Generous Gesture

While other times on the Bullvine I have taken the liberty to point out some of the failings of some of other dairy publications (read Are Other Diary Publications Big, Fat, Lazy Couch Potatoes?), it’s only fair that I point out some of the great things they do as well.  Case in point, Peter English, long time publisher of the Holstein, purchased the Mount Victoria framed print for $4,500 and indicated that it should be hung in Andrea’s Barn at Broad Cove/ Hi-Calibre Holsteins to await her return.

I have had the pleasure to know Peter for pretty much my whole life.  Though at times we’ve had “elevated” conversations, there is one thing that I know to be true:   Peter is a person of great quality.  I just wish that he would put more of his great character into the Journal, a magazine that I have been pretty much raised on and which to this day still holds a near and dear place in my heart.  Who knows maybe I should put my money where my mouth is and just buy it?

The Rest of the Story

The consigners lists for The Friends of Andrea Crowe Fundraiser reads as a who’s who of the eastern and Canadian dairy industry (Crasdale/Tuytel/Walkerbrae,Eastside/Lewisdale,Lindenright/Bellton, Don Fraser, Ferme Jacobs, Blair Weeks, Lookout/ Tuytels, Ferme Blondin, Westgen, Nicholas Pelletier, Glen MacNeil, Ferme Gillette and Rocky Mountain, Sunnylodge, Belcher Holsteins, Brian Enright, Cobequid, Bernadale, MapelWood – Oconnors & GenerVations, Tom and Laury Degroot, Semex, Jetstream Genetics Eastgen, AHN Select Sires, The Bullvine, Cowsmo, Genervations, Suntor Holsteins, Idee Holsteins, Mapleisle Holsteins, ABS, Adam Hodgins, Holstein Canada, Holstein World, NSAB, Dairy Agenda today and CRV).

However, no sale would be complete without those willing to put their money where their mouth is, and so it’s great to see the following individuals and organizations stepping up to help a worthy cause:  Ponderosa Holstein, Wendon Holsteins, Zimmer Holsteins, Pat Conroy, Gary Jones, Adam Hodgins, Rob Heffernan, Ponderosa Holstein, Valleyville, Ferme Blondin, Luke McLellan, Connie McLellan, Dann Brady, Semex Finland, Wilsim Dairy, Joseph O’Callaghan, Crasdale Farms, Curtis Moxsom, Dandyland Farm, Ron Stewart, Pat Conroy, Rockhill Dairy, Les Terpstra, John Greenough, Gilles Bernard, Birkentree,  Joel Phoenix, Frank MacKenize, Albert Cormier, Peter English, Bruce Wood, Brian Yuill, Lookout Holsteins, Extondale Farms, Jennifer VandeSande, Cowsmopolitain.  A special thanks goes out to Ferme Jacobs & Ty-D as they purchased our offering of a website and social media package (watch for this great site to come soon).

It’s also important to not forget those who have put made cash donations to this worthy cause: Chris and Jenn Hill, Crasdale Farms, Derwin Clowe, Scot Frazee, Central Nova, Straiside, AHP, Lorna Thompson, Wade Dickie, Peter Vail, Ian Mathers, James Black/Petra Meier, Scott/Kritina Culbertson, Butz-Hill Exports, Hollis Newson, NS Branch, Brian & Sharon Connor, MacBeath Farms, Damien & Lynn Maconald, Jamie Farrell, Knonaudale Farms, Abelaine, Helen Craswell, Vicki Fletcher, Elgin Craig & family, John and Karen Buckley, Gerald Coughlin & Jason Mell, Mike & Alison West, John & Heather Werry, Michael Heath, Aaron & Caitlin Eaton, Ethan McMillan, Martin Roberge, Richard Villeneuve, Bryce Seaborn, Steve & John Velthuis, Stephane Tardif, Marie-Philip Brisson, Frank Putman, Rick Shaw, Greg Mclean, Gary Jebson, Scott Buckley, Patrick Baird, John & Alice Devries, Gord and Patti Sharp, Tom Hawman, Don Donnan, Cybel Fisher, Bob Crowe, Neil Hyde and Mike & Jessica Phoenix.  If you are interested in making such a donation please send your cheque payable to Atlantic Holstein News, PO Box 191 Truro, NS B6L 2E2.  Please indicate on the cheque it is for the Friends of Andrea Crowe Fundraiser.  (No tax receipts will be issued)

For those looking to support Andrea, you can also like our Facebook page, for all new likes before August 18th we will donate $1 to the Fundraiser


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