A couple from Canada who was promoting dairy farming while driving their tractor across the country suffered a horrific tragedy when the wife was killed in a collision with a semi-truck.
Bettina and Henk Schuurmans, dairy farmers from Elmira, Ontario, Canada, were driving their tractor on the Canadian Milk Tour to promote the Canadian dairy industry. Bettina, 55, passed away when their tractor was hit by a semi-truck between Saskatoon and Langham, Saskatchewan, on July 7. Her husband, Henk, 55, was listed in critical condition following the accident, but has since been stabilized according to reports by CTV News.
The accident occurred at approximately 9 am and the driver of the semi was not injured.
The Schuurmans were driving their John Deere 6430 across the country and were promoting the supply management system in Canada.
“We’re trying to keep the milk 100% Canadian,” Henk told CBC Radio prior to the accident.
They were more than half-way through their journey from the farm in Ontario heading to Vancouver, British Columbia before the tragedy occurred.
The Schuurmans operate Milky Way Inc., a 210 cow dairy known for its genetics. Henk started working at the dairy formerly known as Coopon Flora in 1988 after moving from the Netherlands. The family acquired the farm in 2013 from Wijnand Pon, founder of Koepon Holding and owner of Alta Genetics Inc.
Bettina is survived by Henk and their five children.
A Facebook post on the Milky Wave Inc. page has a number of comments from people sharing their support for the family.
“My heart is broken for this family. From all the farmers and people out there our thoughts and prayers are with you at this hard time. Such great people and farmers I'm in shock and my heart hurts so much. My condolences to the family,” Katherine Pott Wakelin says.
“I am so terribly sorry to hear this news. Thank you to this farm family for trying to support the Canadian family farm. How can it not be safe to travel down any road in Saskatchewan in a tractor?,” Shelagh Niblock asks.
“So very sorry to hear this news today. I was so in awe of their dedication to the dairy industry. Thoughts are with family and friends,” Mary Lou Swift adds.
“Our condolences to this family, can't imagine how you are all feeling. We've been watching your journey from the start,” Melissa Verkley relates.
“Deepest sympathy to the family. So sorry that such a wonderful cause has to end in tragedy. My heart goes out to all the dairy farmers,” Judy Rieck says.
A GoFundMe page has been setup to assist the Schuurmans family in their time of need for those interested in helping.