Ranchers Rally to Provide Hay During Flood
Greg Hilburn, The News Star
March 15, 2016
BATON ROUGE — Ranchers are rallying across the state to gather hay to feed cattle displaced by historic flooding, especially in northwestern and central Louisiana.
The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation launched an online "hay clearinghouse" to help Louisiana cattlemen.
"There's been a great outpouring already; we're getting donations from all over the state," said Carey Martin, spokesman for the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. "Our goal is to put together those who have hay with those who need hay."
Anyone who needs hay, has hay to donate or can provide transport equipment can go to VoiceofLouisianaAgriculture.org and click on the "LFBF Hay Clearinghouse" link on the site menu to register.
"Cattlemen are hurting," said Caddo Parish rancher Marty Wooldridge, chairman of the Farm Bureau's Livestock Advisory Committee. "They've moved their cattle to high ground where they could."
He said many of those cattle are stranded on river levees. In those cases cattlemen are taking hay by boat when possible. But even then there may not be enough hay to feed them.
Wooldridge, whose 2,000 acres of pasture land flooded, estimated more than 10,000 head have been moved or displaced.
He and Martin described some of the cattle as "refugee" or "orphaned" because some ranchers are unsure to whom the cattle belong.
"This is a great way for Farm Bureau, a true agricultural organization with a great network all over the state, to help find hay and get these cattlemen through a tough time," Wooldridge said.
Martin said those who can't register online should contact him at 318-471-2114.