Ag community helps mend Katrina damage
North Dakota's farmers and ranchers are raising cash and donating supplies to help their Gulf Coast counterparts recover from Hurricane Katrina. The state's agricultural processors also are taking part in Operation Dakota Giving by donating to ru...
North Dakota's farmers and ranchers are raising cash and donating supplies to help their Gulf Coast counterparts recover from Hurricane Katrina.
The state's agricultural processors also are taking part in Operation Dakota Giving by donating to rural communities hit hard by the storm.
The state's stockyard companies are serving as collection points for fencing supplies, chain saws, lumber and other building supplies, said Larry Schnell, general manager of the Stockmen's Livestock Exchange in Dickinson.
"The need is as great in the rural areas as in the urban areas, but a lot of the help doesn't make it out in the country," Schnell said.
Agricultural losses from Hurricane Katrina in Southern states are expected to reach $900 million, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said this week.
Katrina affected a wide range of agriculture production in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, including sugar cane and dairy operations. About 10,000 cattle and millions of chickens were killed in the storm, Johanns said.
"Ranchers are in dire need of fencing materials," National Cattlemen's Foundation spokeswoman Courtney Pollock said. "They're having to rebuild every inch of fencing."
The hurricane also destroyed barns, chicken coops, farm machinery and crops, Pollock said.
North Dakota farmers have raised about $8,000, and agricultural processors are donating thousands of pounds of food, state Farmers Union spokeswoman Mindi Grieve said.
Donations include 15,000 pounds of ready-to-eat meats from Mandan-based Clover-dale Foods and 25,000 pounds of pancake mix from the North Dakota State Mill and Elevator, she said.
Cash, food and farm supplies will be donated in rural communities hit by Katrina, officials said.
The relief effort is coordinated by the North Dakota Stockmen's Association, the state Livestock Marketing Association and the state Department of Agriculture.
Ranchers, farmers and anyone else who wants to donate should contact their local livestock auction company to find out where and when they can drop off building materials, Schnell said.
Materials needed include barbed wire, fence posts, gates, solar fence chargers, roof tin, electrical wire and chain saws.
Cash donations can be sent to the North Dakota Stockmen's Association at 407 S. 2nd St., Bismarck, ND 58504. Checks should be written to the National Cattlemen's Foundation in care of Hurricane Katrina relief.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Zent at (701) 241-5526