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Wantage Community News: Ricker Barn Raising Fund
Release Date: August 07, 2009

Wantage Community News: Ricker Barn Raising Fund

Wantage Township endorses the following message which was recently distributed by "Save Rural Wantage":

Tragedy struck Wantage last Wednesday afternoon. An extremely rare and devastatingly strong tornado swept through the Township, uprooting trees and damaging roofs. No one suffered more than the Ricker Farm on Beemer Road.

For years, Doug and Joy Ricker have maintained a dairy herd on their Wantage farm. Several years ago they put their property in the farmland preservation program so that it will remain open space forever, allowing future generations the promise that agriculture will always be present in Wantage.

The Rickers have devoted themselves to the betterment of our community. Doug has been a township committeeman and mayor. He presently serves on the local Open Space Committee. Both Doug and Joy have been active in the Board of Agriculture, the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show, and the NJ Farm Bureau.

Doug was riding his tractor when the tornado struck. Fearing the twister was headed toward the house, he elected to remain on the tractor. The roof of the house was damaged and then the tornado headed for the barns, all three of which were destroyed, as well as the silo. Pieces of the barn were swept away, a half mile from the farm. A calf is still unaccounted for. The farm sustained damage in excess of $500,000 and the insurance only covers loss due to fire. It does not cover "wind" damage.

Save Rural Wantage feels that Doug and Joy are the kind of people who have made our township a great place to live. They lost so much in just a couple of minutes this week. This could have happened to any of us.

The Sussex County Board of Agriculture has set up a relief fund for the Rickers.

We urge everyone who appreciates how much Joy and Doug have done for our community to make a generous contribution. We wish them well and hope that they will decide to rebuild and continue to farm in Wantage.

Please make checks payable to: Sussex Co. Board of Agriculture and mail to:

Ricker Barn Raising
c/o Sussex County Board of Agriculture
129 Morris Turnpike
Newton, NJ 07860

Please reference "Ricker Barn Raising" on your check.

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