Kentucky Livestock Feed Bound for Louisiana

A second load of livestock feed from Kentucky is on its way to hurricane-battered farmers near the Gulf Coast. A truck carrying 23 tons of feed is en route to Louisiana State University's Iberia agriculture research station in Jeanerette in south-central Louisiana. From there it will be distributed to area livestock producers.

The feed was loaded Thursday morning (Oct. 13) at Otis Bryant & Son Farm Supply near Caneyville in Grayson County onto a truck donated by Hinkle Contracting of Paris. Butler County FFA and beef producer Russell Hackley of Grayson County each donated two tons of feed. The Owensboro Apollo and Daviess County FFA chapters each donated a ton. The feed mill donated three tons and sold the rest at cost.

Wayne Wyatt, a professor at the Iberia research station, said the feed will buy time for farmers in the area to make decisions about their immediate future.

"I think we've solved the immediate issue of saving cattle. Now people are making decisions about whether they think they can feed their cattle through the winter or whether they need to sell out," Wyatt said. "Some of these people lost their homes at the same time. That's quite a bit of stress. For them to make good, informed decisions right now is really difficult. That feed will give these people some breathing room."

Wyatt said hay in the area either was destroyed, floated away, or "soaked up water like a sponge," rendering it unusable. Some bermudagrass pastures are trying to come back, but the cattle are hesitant to eat it, Wyatt said, and some pastures still are under water.

"Our farmers are resilient and self-reliant, but they need help," Wyatt said.

A load of feed and fencing from Kentucky arrived in Mississippi on Monday. Another load of fencing is being assembled.

Kentucky farm organizations, businesses, and individuals have given more than 18 tons of feed and more than $12,000 in financial contributions to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's drive for farm supplies for farmers affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The Department is accepting donations of farm supplies at eight sites throughout Kentucky. The Kentucky Cattlemen's Association is accepting cash donations by check or credit card. Donations may be made to the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, 176 Pasadena Drive, Lexington, KY 40503. Donors are asked to write checks to "KCA Katrina Fund." To make a credit card donation, call the KCA at 859/278-0899.

All donations are tax-deductible.

Other partners include Kentucky 4-H, Kentucky FFA, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Anderson Circle Farm, the Hardin County Cattlemen's Association, the Kentucky Dairy Development Council, the Kentucky Pork Producers Association, the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association, Lincoln Trail Area Homemakers of Springfield, the Owen County Conservation District, and the Shelby County Cattlemen's Association.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is continuing to monitor the situation in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and it will plan future donations and work crews as needed.

For more information, call the Kentucky Department of Agriculture toll-free at 888/567-9589 or check the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Web site at www.kyagr.com.

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