By Connor Lynch
RENFREW— Every death is a tragedy, but some deaths send shockwaves through their community. So it was with Robert Reid, a 52-year-old crop farmer in Renfrew County, who died in a terrible fall from the bucket of his tractor last month.
The Reid family had been working on a barn quilt as a way to pass the time during the COVID-19 lockdown. Reid’s three daughters (one is pursuing post-secondary studies, two are in high school) painted the quilt sign board and on May 10, Reid was up in a bucket on the home farm on Reid Rd. attaching the quilt to the wall of the barn. But the bucket wasn’t secure. Reid fell, and the bucket fell on top of him. An ambulance rushed him to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Most agricultural families are firmly enmeshed in their communities but Reid was something else. The family runs a 1,000-acre crop farm with hired, local help. Current Renfrew County Federation of Agriculture president Tyler Armstrong worked for the Reids as a teenager, said county federation secretary Donna Campbell. “My husband and I have dealt with Robert and his father David off and on over the years,” she said. The Reids are also regulars at the Ottawa Valley Farm Show’s annual seed show.
A former dairy farmer, Reid also worked closely with 4-H and Junior Farmers. Campbell said her daughter used to say how much she loved going to junior farmer events because Reid was there. “Robert’s so much fun.”
The Reids were also involved with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a faith-based organization that grows food crops for donation to needy people around the world. Sometimes they would set aside land to grow grains for the program; other times they would help out with planting or harvest on other farms. “They always want to give to the community; a very giving family.”
Said Campbell: “It has shook this community in Renfrew County pretty bad.”
Reid’s grandfather George was also killed on the same farm in the 1960s. He died of head injuries after being trampled by stampeding cattle.
Renfrew County crop farmer dead after tragic fall
By Connor Lynch