Friday, December 07, 2007

Disaster strikes a dairy sheep farm in flood ravaged Lewis county

Hello everyone - I got the following email from my spinner guild secretary this morning - After reading it I put my head down on my desk and cried. I cannot imagine anything so horrible happening. If you Google "Black Sheep Creamery flooded" there are more articles. Our friends Kim & Doug at Mt. Niche Farm are caring for their surviving 22 sheep. We are looking into ways to help. Our NW Shetland Sheep breeders group will be doing something - I will keep you posted.

Here is the email:

Hey Spinners - got this today from Kathy Green. Read on, and help if you can:

Many of you have heard of, or met, my freinds Meg and Brad Gregory of Black Sheep Creamery in Chehalis WA.
The recent floods have hit them very hard. Their hundred year old homestead had never flooded dangerously in all of its recorded years.
So they were not expecting this to be worse than the last big flood; and they knew where that water mark was.
But-this came very fast and many times worse than ever before.
They did save their family.They were evacuated by boat and helicopter.
They lost 3/4s of their dairy sheep flock including all the rams and the best ewes. All pregnant and due in February.
22 of 85 were alive when they got back in today. All of those spent 12 hours in water.
The creamery, parlor and aging room all were under water. The house had 4 feet and is uninhabitable now. They have 3 kids.
They are in shock and staying with friends. But their are 22 ewes to keep alive now-all of them spent 12 hours in water-they are at a fellow farmer's place nearby.
They have lost next year's income with the ewes that died and their milk.
They have lost years of carefully selected breeding stock.
There is several inches of muck in the creamery and aging facilities. Pasturizers, milkers etc-- all in muck.
They lost all of this years hay.
They lost all fences and many field shelters.
They have lost many thousands of dollars of aged cheeses.
As some of you know they were just getting out of their "day jobs" and expanding the farm, which was doing great in the national cheese market. There is no insurance for this sort of loss.
SO-- please pray for them.
If you can spare time this month to help them muck out and set things right before their lambs start coming, please call me-Gretchen Wilson at 360-793-0962.
If you have dairy stock you can donate when they get ready for it, please call me.
If you have hay you can spare please call me. God Bless- Gretchen Wilson"

As I said, we are looking for ways to help. Their web site Black Sheep has a gripping story (click on "Musings 12-2007) - Whew, what a story.

I will let you know what I find out.


Kathy said...

Black Sheep Creamery is keeping up with posts of their website, Let me know what your guild is doing. I may just send them a check directly if they are still getting mail at their address.

They are in our thoughts and prayers today.

Sharon said...

You can't read that dry-eyed. It's heart breaking.