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"Only after two days did we get permission to enter the barn, three terrorists were hiding there" - Voila! Of money


Highlights: Kibbutz Kisufim is starting to rebuild the milking parlor that was destroyed in the battle with terrorists on October 9. The cornerstone was laid for the establishment of the Halvalban dairy farm, named after the late Reuven Heinik, manager of the Kissufim dairy farm. The dairy farm is an essential branch of the kib butz's income, making up about 25% of the income. "The biggest challenge now is to restore hope to the people, to bring the boys back to their borders," says Amnon Zarka.

After being destroyed in the battle with the terrorists, during which the manager of the dairy farm Reuven Heinik was murdered, the milking institute of Kibbutz Kissufim is starting to be rebuilt. The manager of the farm tells about the plans for the future

The destroyed milking institute in Kibbutz Kisufim/Milk Council

These days, Kibbutz Kisufim is starting to rebuild the milking parlor that was completely destroyed in the battle with terrorists on October 9.

For Amnon Zarka, manager of the Kissufim farm, this is an exciting moment: "This is the right thing for Kibbutz Kissufim and for the State of Israel.

To resolutely use the means of production that we had in the Gaza Strip before the war, to re-establish them with a higher intensity than before - this is the right thing to do. Like all A community in Otef, the Kissuf community is also tied to its place. The biggest challenge now is to restore hope to the people, to bring the boys back to their borders.

It is not an easy challenge, you have to take into account that not everyone is in the same place now. Some are more scared, some whose homes Theirs will be restored in just a year. But we must not lose hope, we must continue. My mission both in Kissuf and in Kibbutz Erez, where I live, is to make sure that the members return and do not lose hope. I have decided not to retire until I bring the people home."

Last week, the cornerstone was laid for the establishment of the Halvalban dairy farm (the kibbutz corporation) named after the late Reuven Heinik, manager of the Kissufim dairy farm, who was murdered by Hamas terrorists. The ceremony was held in the presence of the Heinik family, members of Kibbutz Kissufim, the head of the regional council Eshkol Gadi Yarkoni, and the board and management of Tnuva , which, through the dairy farmers' fund she established, is assisting in the restoration of the barn and the establishment of the milking institute.

The late Reuven Heinik. The barn was his life's work/courtesy of the family

Kibbutz Kissuf, located in the western part of the northern Negev in the Gaza Envelope, suffered a severe blow on October 7, when twelve of its members and six agricultural workers from Thailand were murdered, and 85-year-old kibbutz member Shlomo Mansour was kidnapped and is still in captivity.

Until the beginning of the war, Kissufim Farm had about 770 cows and carts, and produced for Tnuva about 4 million liters of raw milk a year.

"Kissufim Farm was established in 1951 with the establishment of the kibbutz, closed in the late 1970s and reopened in the 1990s," says Zarka (67), a resident of Kibbutz Erez.

"The dairy farm is an essential branch of the kibbutz's income. This is a kibbutz that earns its living mainly from agriculture. The dairy branch makes up about 25% of the income, and there are other branches of agriculture that have developed a lot, including growing avocados, jojoba and more. The dairy farm is the beating heart of the kibbutz. When children are taught in the garden to love animals , they go to the barn. When the cart in the barn runs out of water and it blows, you hear it all over the kibbutz and people run to see what happened."

The late Heinik, a resident of Ashkelon, managed the Kissuf dairy for the past 15 years and it was his life's work. "Back on October 7, when I was fighting in Kibbutz Erez with the standby squad, Reuven called me and said: 'Amnon, we have to go to the dairy.

The cows did not eat or drink from yesterday.

I told him: 'It's not possible,'" recounts Zarka. "Then on Sunday, Reuven called again, saying that we must ask for permission to go inside.

I checked and there was no confirmation.

On Monday 9/10, Reuven managed to get a permit to enter the kibbutz to take care of the cows.

I told him I would come with him.

Two other people came with us.

Me and another person had a weapon.

We entered the kibbutz in two vehicles, it was very quiet.

We stopped at the gate, they let us in, we continued towards the barn.

Soldiers saw us and followed us.

We arrived at the barn, Reuven stopped by the small carts, saw that everything was fine, added some water to them.

We parked the vehicles near the milking parlor and went outside.

We entered the milking parlor.

Reuven Mead said that in his opinion there are bullet holes in the milking parlor.

In the milk container we actually saw bullet holes, we also smelled the sour milk, we realized that it was impossible to milk, and then the four of us started to go out.

I left first, Reuven was the last to leave and grabbed a bunch while he was inside the milking parlor.

It turns out that terrorists were hiding there.

We realized he had been shot, one of the men who were with us saw him fall, and then we started firing back.

It didn't help, they fired back at us, and then the army also responded by firing.

There was an exchange of fire between the army and the terrorists, then the officer in the field brought two tanks, brought them closer to the cowshed and simply fired shells into the milking parlor.

In addition, there was also an attack from the air.

When this thing was over, it turned out that there were three terrorists there."

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Amnon Zarka, manager of the farm in Kibbutz Kissufim: "We must not lose hope, we must continue"/Rafi Deloya

"We returned the carts to the kibbutz"

The pain of Heinik's murder was enormous, while at the same time Zarka had to quickly take care of the animals.

"We were without a milking parlor, and the cows did not receive food and were not milked," he describes.

"We were trying to figure out what to do. We were looking for a way to move them to another place. It's a bit of a story. We ended up moving the mature cows to a cattle dealer in Moshav Patish. We sold

them to him at a rush sale that night. It's a piece of logistics to load the cows. There were 12 amazing people who volunteered for two days to help us, when they are constantly shooting there and there is a war. We also loaded all the carts on trucks and moved them to Moshav Berkaya. We rented a yard there and started cultivating them. About a month ago, after we restored the cart yard in Kisofim, we returned the carts to the kibbutz and there was great joy."

As mentioned, these days the restoration of the milking institute in Kissuf has begun, which should take about nine months.

"Now we are also starting to sow the carts. When they farrow, we can already milk them with kissufs," says Zarka and adds that "meanwhile in our cycle there are also carts that have already calved. We have put them in custody in two-seat barns and they will return to our barn in the future with kissufs. But even now , at this time, we want Kissuf Farm to continue milking milk.

So we bought a herd from Kibbutz Gilgal, rented the kibbutz dairy, a team on our behalf is there, and at the end of February we will start marketing Kissuf Farm milk from the farm in Gilgal. As mentioned, the plan is to milk continuously in nine months in our new milking parlor in Kisufim, which will be bigger than it was before. Until then, we will also pay for another purchase of cows to return with great force to the day when the milking parlor opens. I

have already recruited a new manager, a project manager who is responsible for the construction of the new milking parlor and the restoration of the barn in Kisufim. The new institute will allow The Kassufim farm will produce milk in a much larger quantity than what was produced until October 2023."

What happened to the rest of Kissufim's agricultural branches following the war?

"There is a very large chicken coop that was damaged and has not been active since the war. In the other branches, despite the challenges, we are making great efforts and are also managing to return to normal. The avocados are picked in March from January by members of the kibbutz, as well as Israeli workers who have now been trained to work in agriculture and are doing an excellent job. And volunteers also helped us. We used to have 12 Thais.

"Those who were not murdered, almost all returned to their country.

We have also sown almost all of our wheat fields, and where potatoes could be sown - we sowed them too.

We are making great efforts, it is hard work, the area is still noisy from a military point of view."

Economically, Zarka says, "First of all, we are doing our best to return to the dairy farm and the other branches.

The state also gave us advances at the expense of compensation we will receive.

I really hope that the state will compensate us for what went down the drain, that the Takuma administration will also be generous with us.

We also hope to raise donations and thank Tnuva for the very significant contribution to rebuilding the milking institute."

Anat Gros-Shon, Deputy CEO of Tnuva: "It was clear to us that we had to help"/ Rami Zarnagar

75 million liters of milk

The Otaf dairy farms supply about 75 million liters of raw milk to all the dairies in Israel and make up about 5% of the total milk production of the State of Israel.

As part of the dairy farmers' fund established by Tnuva for the rehabilitation of the Otaf dairy farms damaged in the war, with a total amount of approximately NIS 15 million, more than NIS 5 million of the fund has already been directed to the rehabilitation of dairy farms in Kibbutzim Nahal Oz, Ein HaSlosha, Alumim, Nir Yitzhak, Kisufim and Moshav Yachini.

"We work with ten communities in Otef, nine kibbutzim and Moshav Yachini, where there are eight dairy farms. In total, Tnuva receives from 17 dairy farms in Otef about 50 million liters of raw milk per year, which is about 6% of the total milk that Tnuva receives from all dairy farms throughout the country." , says Anat Gros-Shon, Deputy CEO of Tnuva and manager of the business and support division. "We have a long-standing relationship with dairy farmers.

Throughout all the years, and just before Tnuva celebrates 100, we are in close and close relations with all our dairy farmers."

How did you act with the dairy farmers following October 7?

"As soon as this disaster happened, first of all we organized ourselves to understand what was happening with the people themselves, what was happening in the barns.

Dairy farmers look at dairy farms as their livelihood, a stranger will not understand this.

As mentioned, we very quickly mapped what was happening in the barns, we saw which continued to work regularly and which were forced to stop working.

There were barns with damage to the dairies' equipment, such as in the sweeps that were destroyed, in the various barns there were also damage to sheds, tractors, and electrical systems that collapsed.

Even if the barn itself was not damaged, there were, for example, dairy farmers who could not make it.

As the days passed, the picture became clearer and it was clear that even for dairy farms that were not damaged or partially damaged, it would be difficult to continue supplying milk as usual in the first period.

Today the dairies in Otef produce 75% of what they produced before, a reasonable number and even good considering the reality.

Whereas in terms of yield, a week after this disaster we did a situation assessment and allowed other dairy farmers we work with to increase production, and this was basically compensation for what the Otaf dairy farms did not produce.

Bottom line, the industry did not feel any shortage of raw milk."

A dairy farm, says Gros-Shon, is a major source of income for the kibbutzim, "and therefore it was clear to us that at this point in time we must help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible and restore the dairy farms.

Out of that partnership of many years, friendships and joint work with them we decided towards November on the establishment of the aid fund.

The laying of the cornerstone for Kissufim Farm was very exciting for us.

For him, this embodies our responsibility to the dairy farmers, and it is also part of Tnuva's food security concept.

Our commitment is that every citizen in Israel has good, nutritious and basic food, and this is of course also related to dairy farms and raw milk.

The vision is not only to return the barns to what they knew how to produce and supply before the war, but even more.

Barns will buy new equipment, upgrade themselves, and we have no doubt that they will become more efficient.

Also, the state approved that farms in Otef will receive additional quotas, which in advance will allow them to produce more, grow, rehabilitate in a significant way and get stronger."

  • More on the same topic:

  • sweeps

  • cowshed

  • Gaza war

  • Gaza Envelope

Source: walla

All business articles on 2024-02-22

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