What started as a fun summer trip across Canada on a tractor spreading information about dairy farming has ended in tragedy.
Henk and Bettina Schuurmans left their Elmira farm June 21 on their John Deere tractor and had been westbound Monday morning from Saskatoon headed toward Langham, Sask. on the Yellowhead Highway, when their tractor was hit by a semi truck and Bettina was killed.
As of Monday evening, Henk remained injured in hospital, according to media reports.
The Schuurmans own Milky Wave Farms which they run with their sons, near Elmira.
The couple had been drawing crowds, especially when they stopped in cities with their tractor and statues of Maple the cow and her calf Minnie.
The Schuurmans posted fun images on social media of Maple and Minnie at famous places on their journey from Ontario to Saskatchewan, with the goal of creating conversations about Canadian milk and the supply management system.
“Everyone at Dairy Farmers of Ontario is saddened by this news, and we send our deepest condolences to the Schuurmans family,” DFO said in a statement to its dairy producer committee members.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Schuurmans family.