FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10, 2007
||Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs
(919) 733-4216, ext. 242
| Jimmy Gentry, president
N.C. State Grange
N.C. State Grange donates $5,000
to help drought-stricken N.C. farmers
RALEIGH – The N.C. State Grange has donated $5,000 to help North Carolina livestock owners cope with a massive hay shortage, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced today.
The funding will assist programs established by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to help livestock owners defray a portion of the cost of transporting hay to their farms.
“The key to successfully coping with this drought is partnership,” Troxler said. “Farmers are helping each other, and organizations such as the Grange are stepping up to help farmers. I appreciate the Grange’s commitment to helping our rural farm families during the drought.”
“This is a critical time for all livestock producers in the state, and the N.C. State Grange is happy to be a partner in the hay relief effort,” said Jimmy Gentry, the Grange’s president. “It is extremely important to help each other in times of need, and I am thankful that the State Grange is able to provide this needed assistance.”
Reports from farmers indicate that the state’s hay shortage could be as high as 800,000 round bales, forcing them to seek other options for feeding livestock through the winter. Farmers whose corn and soybean crops were damaged by the drought have offered to help livestock producers by baling and selling their crops for animal feed.
The department is trying to help farmers connect with one another through the Hay Alert Web site, which allows farmers to place free listings seeking or selling hay. It also has a section for finding or offering hay transportation services. The site is available at www.ncagr.com/HayAlert. Listings are searchable by county, state and forage type.
Farmers also can use the Hay Alert service by calling toll free at 1-866-506-6222 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Operators will take callers’ information and add it to the Web site or search the database for them.