Wholearth Farmstudio is exactly what is sounds like. A farm, focus on green and healthy living – inside and out. With acres of land perfect for camping or grazing; a beautiful home where beautiful souls reside; a barn; a man-made, spring fed pond; an array of animals from chickens, to sheep, to dogs. The idea is to live well, together, sustainably, from the earth.
Half of my life has been spent growing up on this haven (or at least dreaming of being there when I couldn’t physically be spending time there). This community of people have raised me and shaped who I am and instilled important values in me as well as fed my love of nature, animals, and photography.
Amongst her many feats and features, Montana – the owner of this lovely land – raises rare breed sheep. I remember when her, my mom, and another of their friends made a long, adventurous, and verging ridiculous journey to get these sheep. They stayed up for almost 31 hours, driving all day and night through to Wisconsin and back, nearly hallucinating by the time they were on the country road home. It’s a fond story, and their faces light up whenever they reminisce about that night. Unfortunately, that is the highlight of it.
Not long after Montana had acquired these Shropshire the CFIA “investigated” this “potentially dangerous” breed, killing her ewes and their unborn for “safety” reasons, just to find out they were healthy. They killed them despite the 5,000 names on a petition against it. The CFIA, unsatisfied with the harm and hurt already spread then charged Montana and raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt with criminal accounts including conspiracy.
Now facing 100,000 in fees for the legal trials which are still in progress, Montana, one of the most caring, compassionate, and all over beautiful people I’ve ever met is suffering from depression, PTSD, and the fear of losing her farm, home, freedom – everything she loves and has worked for.
She is facing 12 years in jail and 1.5million in fines. This is for trying to preserve a rare, healthy breed of sheep. The injustice is insurmountable.
Everyday I struggle I think of Montana. Of how powerfully and gracefully she’s moved through this process, how high she’s held her fiery head for what is right and it gives me strength.
I know we all know the fear of losing our dreams, a fear many of us have and we haven’t even achieved them yet. It’s a debilitating place to be, particularly when it’s a precipice you can’t fall from.
Please, if you can, help this cause. Donate 1$, or even a minute to read her story. We all need help from time to time, but not only will you be helping Montana and Wholearth Farmstudio, you will be helping to save so many rare breeds from the CFIA’s heavy and misguided hand.