Barry Cudmore is climbing to raise money for Farmers Helping Farmers
By Diego Flammini
Barry Cudmore/Facebook photo
A 72-year-old potato farmer from Brackley Beach, P.E.I., is heading to Tanzania next week to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Barry Cudmore, a trekking enthusiast, leaves for Africa on Sept. 29. He’s wanted to climb the fourth-highest mountain in the world since he laid eyes on it decades ago.
“I was in Tanzania in 1981, saw it at a distance and thought, ‘It’s one of the seven peaks and I’d like to give it a try,’” he told Farms.com. “The route we’re using, the success rate is about 94 per cent.”
In mountain climbing and trekking communities, the seven peaks or seven summits refers to the tallest mountains on each continent.
Mt. Kilimanjaro/© Anna Omelchenko/Fotolia
Cudmore climbed Mount Everest in Asia 2019 and Denali in Alaska this summer. Both of those are part of the prestigious list of seven mountains. He’s also climbed mountains in Poland and Maine.
But when Cudmore starts his climb on Oct. 3, it will be more than a bucket-list item.
He’ll be raising money for Farmers Helping Farmers, which helps dairies, women’s groups and schools build sustainable ag communities in developing countries.
Cudmore, his wife, Ellen, and 22 members of the province’s ag community, founded the organization after visiting Tanzania in 1981 following International Family Farm Consultations held at the University of P.E.I. two years earlier.
“Before we visited, we had the chance to host delegates from developing countries in our homes and learn about the challenges farmers face in those countries,” Cudmore said.
Today, Farmers Helping Farmers feeds about 3,000 children every day, providing them with a nutritious start before school.
“We know when kids go to school and they’re well fed, their ability to learn greatly increases,” he said.
Cudmore is still involved with the organization as chair of its fundraising committee.
He’s looking to raise a specific amount of money.
$19,341 to be exact – one dollar for every step it’ll take to reach the summit.
That’s about 5.9 kilometres.
“I’ve just got to put one foot in front of the other,” he said. “In farming you’re determined to finish any job you start and persevere. I’ll be channeling that as we climb and hope for a good yield, a good result, at the end.”
He and Ellen usually hold a barbecue at the Harrington Research Station to raise funds for the organization.
But this being the first fundraiser since COVID took its toll on group gatherings, Cudmore wanted to do something special.
“Since we weren’t able to have a barbecue for the last three years, I wanted to make this climb a fundraiser to help those families in Tanzania,” he said.
Donations can be made through the charity’s website.
Cudmore expects to return home around Oct. 13.