Our readers reach out to Gulf Coast

SALEM, Ohio – Farm and Dairy readers sure know how to make a difference.
In a March 2 article, Ohio offers hand to Gulf Coast farmers, cattleman Duane Plessinger asked for help in his efforts to donate and deliver hay to Gulf Coast farmers still struggling to make ends meet months after hurricanes Rita and Katrina.
At that time, three people had volunteered and made the trip to Louisiana with hay in tow. The problem was Plessinger still had loads of donated hay with no way to get them south.
Making a difference. Starting the same morning our article ran, Plessinger’s phone began ringing with calls from you, Farm and Dairy readers, offering to help.
To date, you’ve taken nine gooseneck trailer-loads of hay and one semi-load, totaling 725 small square bales and 135 large round bales.
“I’ve had about 25 people contact me about trucking hay or donating hay, and most everyone has come through with what they have promised,” Plessinger said. “I should have several more trucks going soon.”
Efforts continue. He figures farmers will still need help into the summer as they wait for their salt-covered pastures to be diluted enough for cattle to return.
In the meantime, he’s accepting hay donations and asking volunteers to haul it. He’s also started taking shelled corn and grain. A mill in Louisiana is crimping and bagging the donations for 50 cents a bag so it’s easier to distribute.
All donations are tax deductible, and Fellowship of Christian Farmers is offering to pick up the tab for volunteers who head south. For more information about helping, contact Plessinger at 937-902-5302.

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