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Community rallies around family-owned dairy farm recovering from barn collapse

By Trish Hartman, Reporter, THartman@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 08 2014 04:30:16 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 09 2014 10:37:20 AM CDT

Benefit helps family farm

A community came together Saturday in Northampton County to help a family-owned dairy farm devastated by winter weather last month.

It was a busy afternoon at Hampton Lanes in Northampton Borough, as the place filled with bowlers hoping to help out a local dairy farm and a local family after a barn collapsed at the Riverview Dairy Farm in Walnutport.

Organizer Tina Chidiac said, "We got a call, or a text, many of us, that said the barn collapsed, the cows are trapped inside. Everybody came. Everybody who knew, came."

The collapse happened on Feb. 13 after snow and ice became too much for the roof to bear. About 100 cows were trapped inside.

Owners say they lost 20 cows in the collapse - some were hurt and some were killed.
The dairy farm is still operating, but there is a lot of work to be done to put a roof back over the cows' heads.

"Everything will go strictly to the farm and to his family and to the dairy to keep it going so he's able to keep his business going," said family friend Chad Distler.

"We've had amazing, amazing donations from everybody in the Valley," said Chidiac. "People who don't know me... they just know of Riverview Dairy Farms and know how hard he works and he's one of the last dairy farms in the Valley."

Participants said they were more than happy to spend an afternoon bowling to help one of the last local dairy farms in the area.

Bowler Timothy Werner of White Hall said, "The bad thing about it is I know he's been going through a lot of stuff, especially after Sandy, he had some damage after Sandy. Now the heavy snow and everything. We're all just here to help the cause, I brought a lot of my friends just to help him out."

If you'd like to donate to the farm, checks can be made out to Riverview Dairy Farm and sent to:

4835 S. Cypress Drive
Walnutport, PA 18088