The event, held at the Putnam County Fair Grounds, in response to near record high hay prices this winter. According to the Shafers, without the help of charitable neighbors, they would have to seriously consider a mortgage on their home to keep their animals fed through the winter.
Mr. Schafer says that many area farmers and horse owners are taking desperate measures to purchase hay, trucking it in from all over America with no quality guarantees. When that is not an option, others off-loading their stock.
"We have heard that some people are just turning their horses loose," said Richard Schafer. "That's just not an option for us."
Mrs. Shafer says that every animal at Hope's Way is worth far more than the hay or grain it takes to feed them. "They are truly worth their weight in gold," she said.
Hope's way received $725 in cash donations and one bail of hay during Saturday's Hay Parade. The contributions have been coupled with aid from area farmers who have agreed to cut the price of some hay sold to Hope's Way to as little as $6 per bail. Even at that deep discount, the hay is still twice the price that the same bales fetched in 2006.