Maine-ly Poultry John Barnstein

Farmers need sick days too! As farmers we feel rich in food and quality of life. We choose a life that includes working long hours for little pay, understanding that you keep working through a cold, sometimes the flu, through sore muscles and whatever else comes our way. This we can all accept. We work hard and are possibly even addicted to the level of physical exertion, intensity, complex thought and management our farms entail. We are independent to our core.

John has recently been diagnosed with throat cancer and is now beginning the long road in treatment with both chemo and radiation at the same time. These treatments take John off his farm every day, not only incurring expenses of travel but taking him away from the farm that depends on his skill, knowledge and understanding. John is not only as tough as they come, he is a kind-hearted mentor to many. He often takes the time at market to coach, suggest, commiserate, and encourage farmers young and old. John is a resource to Maine’s market farmer community, a resource that is so highly valued. John is  a leader through friendship and example.

John would prefer to be on the giving end rather than the receiving end of this scenario and is always the largest donor to the food banks or persons in need. But treatment like what John is going through takes its toll not only on John, but also on his farm and his family. Many of you have reached out to ask how to help and give.  Here is one way for us to give back some of what John and his wife Shelia have given to our community. Of course, another way is to remember to support his farm by buying his poultry as a matter of routine. Thanks for giving!

Organizer and beneficiary

Hanne Tierney
Palmyra, ME
Shelia Barnstein

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