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Bóthar Heifers Thriving in Romania

Bóthar Heifers Thriving in Romania

Bóthar has started airlifting in-calf dairy heifers to Romania in Eastern Europe and received the following report from Bóthar representative, Laura Manciu.

THE airlifted Irish heifers are slowly but surely adapting to Romanian conditions. The new owners are trying to make this transition period as smooth as possible for the animals by offering them good shelter and plenty of fodder.

After the original placement ceremony the Bóthar team returned to Rasca, to visit some of the beneficiary families and their new ‘black and white’ cow! The families are extremely happy and thankful for the high quality heifers! Here are some stories from two of the Bóthar airlfifts. Sorin (51) and Lenuta (39) Gansca have two children. Since the couple married in 1995 they have been living with Sorin’s parents in a humble, but clean home where their only source of income is agriculture. Prior to receiving their gift, none of the adults could find work and all they had to work with was an old horse and an even older mixed-breed cow. Nothing seemed to be working for the family, no matter how hard they tried.

“When it was announced that we were going to receive an Irish dairy cow from Bóthar we could barely sleep! We were there the day the cow arrived in our village and couldn’t believe our eyes, couldn’t utter a single word, because of the beauty of the animal. “Now every time I go in the barn this beautiful animal is there and it is ours to keep” said Lenuta with a trembling voice. This is the effect a cow can have on a needy family. This cow changed their lives. Another family that benefited was Gligan Teofil (31) and Marinela (25). They have a five year old boy named Flaviu. He picked the heifer’s name - “Stela”. Marinela just like any mother wants to provide her son with the best. For this she works hard every day. They have another cow in the household and a pig too. Her dream is to have more cows to be able to make cheese and sell it at the market. In March this year, a second airlift brought 70 in-calf heifers to needy families. The Coldea family, Gheorghe, Jenica and their two daughters Monica and Rodica, received their Irish dairy heifer on March 8, this year. They named it “Steluta” (in English the name means “Little Star”) and she gave birth to a male calf, 4 days after they brought her home.

Gheorghe‘s mother, Lucretia (83) is also living in the same household. Gheorghe used to be employed as a driver in Huedin, 20 km away from home, but now he is too ill to work. His meagre pension is the family’s only constant income. He is 15 years older than Jenica and his health is very fragile due to a severe heart condition. Even though he does some work, he relies heavily on Jenica as he tires easily. For her, family means everything. She is determined to support her daughters and help them in building a future.

Listening to Jenica, it is impressive to witness such inner strength. The couple makes hay and tends to the potato crops together. They have also two pigs and some poultry. With the horse and cart they work the land as they can’t afford to rent agricultural machines. It’s hard work but it’s the way the land was worked by their grandparents 30 years ago, and they are happy to do it.

These are very simple people that live their life according to tradition and with dignity. Jenica is hopeful about the future. “Once the calf is slightly bigger we will take more milk to the collecting centre. We take good care of our beautiful Irish cow; it gives us more milk than our old cow plus she is very friendly. We had no troubles with the heifer since she came through our gate. We thank those who sent her, as she is a blessing for us.”

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