No matter what we as Texans face, we always manage to pull through – together. This couldn’t be truer than in Chambers and Jefferson counties where efforts continue to save livestock.
Since Monday, when I asked Texans to help their neighbors by donating hay to feed hungry cattle and horses, we have received almost 4000 round bales and about 2000 more are being offered. This is truly incredible, and I thank all of you who have stepped up to the plate.
Texans have also come through on monetary donations. The Texas AgriLife Extension Service foundation has received almost $100,000 in funds. These monies will be used to continue relief efforts and assist producers in reestablishing their operations.
We have also had many ranchers offer their land for grazing. Between Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers and the Texas Department of Agriculture, we have been offered around 5,000 acres of pasture.
Our next step in this recovery process is contracting livestock haulers to help move cattle out of the devastated area. We are working with the Livestock Marketing Association and the state’s cattle associations to complete this task.
Finally, there is some good news out of the Farm Service Agency. Farmers and ranchers in counties affected by Hurricane Ike who were attempting to meet the Sept. 16 deadline for certain disaster assistance programs, but couldn't due to Hurricane-related temporary FSA office closures, now have an extension.
For more information contact FSA toll free by calling 1-866-680-6069 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.