I sit in our heated shop, at the large rustic dining room table that is too big to fit into the small living quarters portion of the building that we call home. The feelings embedded in my soul are unexplainable.
The book I am currently reading is too good to put down, the sweet lingering smell of horse sweat from the halters hanging behind me and the singe of burning holiday candle enlighten the room.
Meandering thoughts roll around my head and I once again lose my spot.
Thoughts about the class I taught today and the one I will teach tomorrow morning cross my mind.
Thoughts of our bank account and the exact numbers of each bill that will be withdrawn resulting in mere digits, linger.
Thoughts of exactly how much feed still needs to be purchased and how much it will cost to sustain our animals throughout the sometimes excruciating Alberta winter…drift in and then out as well.
Thoughts of thankfulness are rolling around… we have heat, we have food, I have a husband who works hard to sustain all that we have and we have our beloved Backwoods Buffalo Ranch.
But still feelings of fear and anxiety are overrunning the feelings of thankfulness and holiday cheer that should be present this time of year.
I haven’t yet commented on the following because I didn’t want to get into it, but the time has come.
My feelings of stress and anxiety stem directly from the source of our government.
During election time I found myself stressed out entirely, I voiced my opinions which were met with opinions of those around me. “Perhaps the new government will be good, we are in need of change. “
Change they have.
They have “changed” the way Albertans look at our beloved Country of Canada.
We have gone from being proud members of a society that worked to better our economy: to wondering which foreign country we are actually residing in.
The first scare came to us as a young farming family when our main source of income was threatened.
That threat came upon the oilfield… we live in a small community where we witnessed many people that we know and love lose their jobs or constantly worry of loss.
The worry hasn’t ended for us yet, we constantly wonder if Chad will have a job next time he returns for his shift.
God forbid we were to lose that income, change would definitely come to kick us in the rear.
There is absolutely no way on the face of the earth that I would be able to sustain feed bills, living expenses or land payments, let alone food bills on my Human Services income alone.
If Chad were to lose his job it would result in me leaving my job in the Family Violence field where the need for my services would continue to increase, to find higher paying work in a field where I probably wouldn’t be happy and would indefinitely let down an entire crisis centre in their time of need.
We are an oilfield family but before the oilfield or anything else, we are a farming family.
Did you know that: 98% of Canadian farms are family farms?
Chad and I both have the western way of life embedded in our souls.
We grew up shadowing our parents every move, as they worked countless hours raising livestock on our family farms, with the hopes of distilling lifelong skills into their young children such as passion, love, work ethic, empathy, compassion etc.
Our farm and animals come before everything..and I mean everything.
We depend solely on both of our work out incomes to sustain our dream of creating the family farm that we hope to pass down for generations.
It may come as a shock to you… as it may to some of our government officials as well…. But we were not gifted the land that we call Backwoods. We purchased it as 22 and 23 year old individuals, who had a dream.
A dream to continue our western lifestyle and go about living the only way we know how.
We have worked day in and day out to transform this parcel into what we want… and by no means is it complete or will it ever be.
That’s how farming works.
The work is never done.
It is stressful enough trying to maintain every aspect of our “ranch” without the worry that we could potentially have added WCB and OH&S stresses added to our already full plate, not to mention that we would have to comply to the Labour Relations Laws.
This would mean that our land would be considered a work site and would mean our future children would have to stay within 50m of our home to be considered legal.
Every time we go to feed our livestock, collect eggs from the coop and jump on that young unstarted colt we will be asking ourselves if we are complying to the rules of Bill 6… enough.
We will constantly be asking ourselves if we are committing a crime… and wondering what will happen if we get caught.
We all know that if we don’t comply too the rules and regulations we could lose our farms thanks to significant fines, but if we do we are going to go broke any way.
We, amongst many other Alberta Farm and Ranchers are taking a stand against Bill 6 and we suggest you do your research and then do the same.
If YOU eat food, this bill affects YOU.
We will fight for the future of our farm kids.
We will fight to make sure that they have the opportunity to smell the sweet aroma of horse sweat from in the corral after rounding up livestock all day… and not just in the shop lingering off the hanging halters.
If this Bill passes the future of Canada will have more to worry about, as members of 40,000 Albertan farms may also be seeking refuge. We too are ready for our hand-outs, stand up and fight for our own.
Backwoods Buffalo Ranch is Against Bill 6, because OUR FARM MATTERS.