Fundraiser held for Wheatland farming family who lost barn in fire

Posted at 10:15 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 23:21:20-04

After a farming family in Kenosha County lost their barn in a fire, hundreds of people in their community stepped up to support them by attending a fundraiser Friday night. 

The Herda family run the Sunnyview Dairy Farm in Wheatland. It's been in their family more than 100 years. 

On May 1, their two story-barn that once housed dairy cows burned to the ground. But out of this devastating event, came so much love and support. 

"We're just in shock of all the people that care," said Ben Herda. 

The fire killed more than a dozen animals, including chickens and calves. It also happened at one of the worst times for a farmer. 

"May's a busy month trying to get all of our crops planted," said Ben. "We had a lot of assistance in that area as well a lot of neighbors came and helped." 

The farm is also the family's livelihood and Ben said without the support of his neighboring farmers opening up their property, they would have been out of business the next day. 

"It's been painful," he said. "We milk our cows in somebody else's farm. We still have the rest of our animals at home, but trying to work at two different places." 

Several groups, including local 4-H clubs and Catholic Financial Life organized a spaghetti dinner and auction for the Herda family, that took place Friday at Westosha Central High School. 

The money will go toward helping the family as they work to rebuild. 

"It just makes us feel lifted up that we can get through this," said Shannon Herda, Ben's wife. "We're so grateful for everyone's support." 

Ben added, "In the event that we have the opportunity to repay any of this, we will." 

Donations in the form of checks can still be dropped off at Community State Bank Locations, just mention the Herda Sunnyview Dairy Farm Benefit.