My friend Jim calms me down almost as much as my puppy, Ted.
I’ve known Jim since about 1996. We collaborated to shut down emotion-not-evidence-based rules on genetically engineered foods in Canada, and he has always brought a practical sense of what a farmer goes through to make a buck.
He also used to terrorize my then young girls by telling them how he shot stray cats left at his dairy farm, because cats carry toxoplasmosis, and it impacted his money-making side.
We were grateful for the three cats from Walkerton.
Jim and Donna’s Walkerton farm is across the road from the source of the E. coli O157 outbreak in 2000 that killed seven and sickened thousands, and I still get chills when Jim recalls another chopper going over the farm, probably another dead person.
Media outlets were broadcasting live from Walkerton, like it was a dam about to collapse.
Or as I said at the time (Jim had to remind me), media wanted cows, manure, river, and townhouses all in one photo.
I spoke with Jim the other day, primarily to balance myself against the most moderate person I know.
Jim has gotten into the maple syrup biz in Ontario (that’s in Canada), he’s got grandkids, like I do, and a seemingly stable situation, running his B&B with Donna, substitute teaching, and new farming ventures.
I admire that.