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Permit obtained! Now moving ahead rapidly

After months of delays due to challenges in obtaining certificates and permits, the doors have opened to begin constructing the buildings necessary for beginning the physical operation of this program, which is to create a demonstration dairy farm and eventual dairy milking hub. The gospel will be shared and Christian principles exhibited as we work together with the Haitian community to improve dairy production.

Les and Christine Kaeb, along with their daughter Lana, are currently in Haiti overseeing the development of this program.

Obstacles Removed, Excitement Growing

In early April, over 30 Haitian farmers, representing nearly 70 milking cows, gathered in the Good Vision Farm’s gazebo to hear updates about the progress of the program. HarvestCall committee members were present, witnessing first-hand the interest and questions coming directly from the people most closely affected by the program. The Haitian people first sang a verse of “How Great Thou Art” in Creole, the familiar melody wafting over the beautiful Torbeck plain. Then Les expressed what appreciation he felt as God led them safely from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew to the excitement of receiving the go-ahead to begin construction. Clearly, the program has shifted from a time of waiting and planning to a time of forging ahead. It was a surprise to learn that the farmers who intend to participate have significantly increased their interest in raising heifers. The Haitians seem especially interested in improving genetics and learning how to improve the way they feed cows. They are paying close attention to seeing just how effective brachiaria grass will be for dairy feed.

On the animal side, two heifers were just purchased at a local Haitian market. Lana Kaeb has affectionately named them Ivory and Ebony, and they appear to be in excellent condition. Some heifers are also housed in Rittman, Ohio, and they will be bred in May. These are Gyr crossbred with Holstein. The Gyr breed has been identified as tolerating the Haitian climate better than some other dairy breeds. These animals will calve in early 2018, creating some expediency that we be ready.

Currently, the shop/depot is nearing completion. Plans are to start more construction projects, including a missionary home and guest quarters, a feed center, simple animal handling structures, and finally a milking center. A sea container filled with farm equipment and seed will be loaded in late April for delivery in May. Forage is being grown; heifers are being raised. Construction will require work teams that are currently being planned, including electrical and plumbing.