Katie MoriartyApr 7, 2016, 11:29 pm

Group plans protest at Benner’s Farm to save beloved cow

Farmer originally bought the animal to feed his family

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East Setauket farmer, Bob Benner and his family have learned to live off their 15 acres of land since 1977.

"We learned, made, and had our own heat. We made our own food. We made our own clothing. We raised a garden," he said.

With six mouths to feed on a tight budget, Benner began raising certain farm animals as a source of food.

Over the years, Benner's farm has evolved into a popular attraction for strawberry picking, birthday parties, and class trips for kids. Which is how Kimberly Sherriton, a mother from Commack, got involved with a farm cow that she saw at a birthday party.

Sherriton became heartbroken when she heard that the 2-year-old cow will end up on the Benner’s family dinner table.

Benner says he does not want to sell the cow because his family can’t afford to buy that quality of food.

Sherriton still believes he should buy meat from the store.

“He doesn't need this cow to survive and feed his family. He puts a sob story on there. Please, tell him to go to Whole Foods and go get some anti-biotic free beef there," she said.

Sherriton claims Benner's animals seem like pets, but he says he's honest about their fate.

"We don't run around and say, 'that's meat! that's this, that's that.' what we rather is when the questions are asked we delicately explain that's what food is," Benner explained.

Now a group has formed to keep the cow alive. They're planning to protest outside of Benner's Farm over the weekend.

75-year-old Benner says he's being hit hard with harassments.

"It's to the point where we were getting nasty emails, getting warnings, and being threatened," Benner said.

The Benners say it's never easy to determine the fate of their homegrown food, but they purchased the cow for a purpose.

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