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Upcoming events


TAPROOM 260 presents the Terence O'Brian live from 8-11 pm. Located on Centrum Blvd. in the Orléans Town Centre. For more information visit https://taproom260.com/events/.

ORLEANS CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL – This popular outdoor festival goes on rain or shine! We’ve got you covered with large tents that span most of the festival grounds including the beer gardens and eating area. It’s a good, old fashioned east end street party with all the best local taps and apps under the big tent!Two sessions 11-4 pm and 5-11 pm. Tickets https://orleansfestivals.ca/tickets/

CUMBERLAND FARMERS MARKET from 9 am to 1 pm at the Cumberland Arena, 1115 Dunning Rd. in Cumberland Village. Farmers, bakers, artists, crafters, gardeners, chefs and friends. For more information facebook.com/cumberland.f.market.

THE ORIGINAL NAVAN MARKET NIGHT MARKET from 4-9 pm at the Navan Fairgrounds, 1279 Colonial Road in Navan. Over 100 vendors in attendance. For more information facebook.com/OriginalNavanMarket.

THE ORLEANS BREWING CO. presents Stuart Hoopfer live from 8-11 pm. $5 cover. The Orléans Brewing Co. is located at 4380 Innes Rd. near the McDonalds. For more information visit https://orleansbrewing.com.

 

 

 

Navan dairy farm in full swing two years after derecho
Fred Sherwin
May 23, 2024

It’s been two years since a derecho windstorm swept through the mid-section of Cumberland, destroying over a thousand trees and damaging over a dozen farms between Navan and Sarsfield.

The McFadden farm on Trim Road, south of Navan, was one of those farms. Other farms that were severely damaged include McFaddens’ neighbour John McWilliams farm and Wyatt McWilliams’ farm on Trim Road where the barn that had stood for 120 years was completely destroyed.

Gordon McFadden stands in his new barn with some of the barn’s occupants. The state-of-the-art dairy barn was completed in January to replace the two barns that were destroyed in the 2022 derecho wind storm. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO

Gordon McFadden had 70 cows and calves on his farm before the storm hit on May 24, 2022. Five cows died in the storm and another 25 died or had to be destroyed in the weeks and months that followed due to the trauma they suffered.

All the cows were eventually replaced, but McFadden was without a barn to house them. The derecho destroyed two barns and two other buildings and severely damaged their silos.

The surviving cows were all moved to a farm near Kemptville, where McFadden paid rent to house them and have them milked on a regular basis.

After going back and forth with his insurance company, McFadden was finally able to hire a contractor in late 2022. Construction began with a concrete slab last summer, and the barns were completed last December. McFadden now has a state-of-the-art production facility complete with two robotic milking machines in which the cows have been trained to enter on their own and be milked three times a day.

“It’s something else,” says McFadden. “ I never ever thought the cows are allowed to roam around on their own rather than be held in pens all day and they can even clean themselves using a large rotating brush similar to the ones used in a car wash.

If you could ever describe cows as being spoiled, these cows on the McFadden farm would fit the bill.

McFadden lets out a chuckle when asked what his grandfather or great-grandfather might think of all the technology the farm employs.

The farm was founded by McFadden’s great-great-grandfather in 1848, before Navan even existed. It was passed down through the generations until it was eventually passed on to Gordon’s father Basil.

McFadden bought the farm in 1986 and has run it ever since with the help of his sons Devyn and Travis who are now partners.

“It’s something to be proud of,” says McFadden about the farm’s long history, which now includes the derecho, the damage the storm caused and the effort to rebuild.

If anything, the farm is back bigger and better than ever. The new barn will allow them to have twice as many cows as they now have, and with the new technology, production is up and the workload, in terms of manual labour, is down.

The only work that still needs to done is replacing the top portion of the remaining two silos that were damaged in the storm. The wind was so strong that it left a dent in two of the silos the size of a pickup truck. One of the silos was repaired earlier this year, but the others must be emptied first.

On another positive note, Avery, the miracle calf who survived the derecho, is now a mom. She birthed a calf last year and has joined the rest of the herd.

Readers of the Orléans Star may recall a story published shortly after the wind storm about a calf that was blown over the McFadden’s old two-storey barn when the wind caught the plastic shelter she was fastened on to and sent them both airborne.

Avery, who was only a couple of months old at the time, landed on a pile of debris on the other side of the barn and somehow managed to survive despite suffering a gash on the back of her neck.

 
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