NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Round bales of last years hay off the SFA beef farm will be a welcomed meal for thousands of stranded cattle in the Gulf coastal region. Assistant professor of Animal Science, Dr. Erin Brown explained, " Stephen F. Austin State University is donating sixty round bales to the hurricane devastated areas of Chambers and Jefferson counties. We're working with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association to ensure this hay is donated to the producers that are needing it for their livestock. "
The donations go beyond hay. Fresh water is necessary too. Cattle are sick or dying from drinking too much salt water. AgriLife extension agent Crispen Skinner said, " If you have lake, private lake or pond such like that you can help donate that too. " Other agents from Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties are in the Beaumont area helping with field survey. They reported back that pastures are covered with brackish water. Some cattle have died.
SFA and other East Texas ranchers are offering unused pasture lands. USDA, Farm Service Agency spokesman, Gerald Green said, " I have small pasture available that I've committed and so like I say people here in this area they can pull together and help those in need it would be good thing they can do. "
Federal farm aide programs are helping too. Coastal and East Texas ranchers suffering losses caused by Hurricane Ike can apply now. County executive director for the Farm Service Agency Lance Jacobs advised, " What they should do right now is take pictures of the damage and keep any receipts, invoices for labor, material that they use in completing those repairs. "
Fortunately, an abundance of hay and no signs of a drought are enabling more ranchers to share with one another.
If you want to help with monetary donations for feed troughs, feed etc go to www.agrilifeevents.tamu.edu and follow prompts to "No Fences",Hurricane Ike Horse and Cattle Relief. To donate hay contact Texas Department of Agriculture Hay Hotline at 1-877-429-1998, ext. 0. You can also contact your local county extension agent.
USDA PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Gerald l. Green in nacogdoches, TX (936)564-5891