Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.


The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Prison farm closed, but the cows come home

A farmer who was arrested during Monday's prison farm protest in Kingston, Ontario, says he intends to start a milk co-op with some of the cows that were removed from the now defunct Frontenac Institution farm.

Most of the dairy herd was trucked out on Monday, sparking a large protest in which 24 people were arrested. The Frontenac prison was home to one of the last of six prison farms in the country. News that the Harper government intended to shut down the federal prison farm program broke last spring, sparking a national campaign to reverse the decision.

Jeff Peters, a beef farmer, said he and others involved in the campaign paid about $10,000 for six cows from the Frontenac dairy herd that were auctioned off Tuesday in Waterloo. He said there is interest in buying 15 more cows that are available, but were too close to giving birth to travel to the auction.

Peters said the cows are being kept in his barn for now. "We milked them this morning," he told The Tyee. "We had a great toast of raw milk. . . maybe the first time a free person has ever tried the milk from these cows."

The Frontenac prison farm has existed for more than 100 years, and supplied milk and produce to the prison kitchen. Peters said there is a lot of interest in starting a milk co-op, partly to keep the this herd's genetic line in the Kingston area. He hopes one day, they will be able to return to the Frontenac farm.

"You wouldn't believe the support for this prison farm," said Peters. "Twenty-four people went to jail in the pouring rain -- it's just unbelievable. This is not going to die an easy death."

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus