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June 2, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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South Carolina Farmers Need a Hay Ride
November 11, 2005

 South Carolina Department of Agriculture . . .

Hugh E. Weathers



November 10, 2005                                            

COLUMBIA, SC – Immediately after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast, Hugh Weathers, Commissioner of Agriculture, called the Departments of Agriculture in those devastated states to offer our assistance. At that time, the agricultural damage had not been fully assessed, but officials said that they would let us know when to help. They are now calling for help.

Several South Carolina producers and cattlemen in the state have already sent hay to the area. They have more to send, but are in desperate need of transportation for the hay.

Many South Carolinians have reached deep into their pocketbooks to help those who have lost their homes and livelihoods. Farmers in the lower parts of Mississippi and Louisiana have lost their equipment, fences, fields, animals, and virtually everything that it takes to stay in the business of farming. And, they have either fed much of the hay they had stored for the winter or it was destroyed along with the barns that held it.

These same producers gave South Carolina farmers a hand up during the droughts of the 80s and 90s. Commissioner Weathers said, “You can’t go through life with catcher’s mitts on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. South Carolina farmers want to share. They just don’t have the transportation to make it happen.”

To donate hay or transportation for hay donations, call Mary Ellen Tobias, marketing specialist at the SC Department of Agriculture and large animal emergency coordinator, at 803-734-2349, or call Margaret Owens, executive director of the SC Cattlemen’s Association, 803-238-1762.

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