Ruggles cattlemen share in relief effort


ASHLAND, Ohio – Cattleman Jim Beattie discovered there was an ongoing need of hay to feed the cattle in the Louisiana area left in the extensive destruction wake of the hurricane.
Beattie knew there was plenty of good hay in Ruggles and thought others would share in his desire to share with those in need.
Team effort. So with a few phone calls to share his vision, Beattie, Fred McClaflin, Ron Crall and Fred Ropp donated together the hay to make a complete load.
Beattie donated the use of his truck and trailer and Ron White cleared his schedule to accompany Beattie on the trip and the Fellowship of Christian Farmers International chipped in to pay for the fuel.
Coordinating with Duane Plessinger of Dayton, the truckload of hay embarked on the 60-hour journey along with eight other loads of Ohio hay traveling to the region.
Made the destination. “There’s a lot of open county from here to there,” Beattie remarked concerning the trip. “But is was a good trip. Our load was delivered to the distribution and holding point at Diamond Ranch at Lake Charles and they were very grateful.”
There was 3 feet of water at the ranch that is located 25 miles from the beach area that suffered a 25-foot storm surge.
The storm damage was easier for Beattie to share with his handful of snapshots taken on the trip.
On the mend. “This is where Harley Beach, La., was located,” he offered pointing to a leveled area and this is what remains of the shipyards. Progress is being made. They now have the power lines back to the yards and the signs of reconstruction are showing.
“The farmers need for hay is not as urgent now that the grass is coming back,” he said as he shared a photo of cattle grazing on the sparse pasture. The ranchers were normally able to graze their cattle year round, but it will still take some more time for the pastures to green up well.
Appreciation. “I want to thank everyone that helped in any way to make this 2,542-mile trip possible,” Beattie said. “There were many, from those who donated the hay, the many people of the FCFI, those who helped with chores while we were gone and the many folks who encouraged us with well wishes and prayers for a safe journey.”

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