Texas’s farms are in dire straits. Small ranchers and farmers are desperately trying to hold onto their livelihoods, but many can no longer afford to feed their animals with increasingly scarce hay. Some farmers have had no choice but to abandon their ailing horses and cattle. The lucky ones are picked up by rescue organizations—in many cases animals starve to death.
I know just how desperate the situation is because I work for Ranch Hand Rescue, a Texas non-profit that houses, feeds, and cares for farm animals in distressed situations. Here’s a quote from one of dozens of farmers who have emailed me in just the past couple months.
“The drought has just about ruined everybody here in South Texas. I’ve been forced to sell half of my herd. The hay situation has become very serious. Hay that was going at $35 is now $85 or more if you can find it. The last hay I purchased I drove over 130 miles one-way to get it. Things just don’t look very promising. And still there is no promise of rain.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures. We need Governor Rick Perry to use state resources to bring hay to Texas.
State Climatologist John Nielson-Gammon recently declared this to be the worst one-year drought on record for Texas. Because we have had no rain, we have no grass and no hay—nothing to feed our farm animals.
We are in the middle of a hay crisis that will likely only get worse before it gets better. Other states, however, have plenty of hay to spare—it’s just too expensive for farmers to drive the distance to haul in this hay.
What farmers and farm animals desperately need is for Gov. Rick Perry to devote state resources to bringing hay to Texas. Please sign my petition asking the governor to immediately make the commitment to bring hay to Texas’s farm animals in an effort to help our ranchers, farm animals, and rescues.
Use the National Guard or State Resources to bring HAY to Texas!
The lack of rain statewide prompted State Climatologist John Nielson-Gammon to declare this the worst one-year drought on record for Texas, with the highest temperatures and some of the lowest rainfall recorded since data collection began in 1895. The drought has created a hay crisis of monumental proportion. Hay has reached record costs and finding new resources is extremely difficult and extensive. Hay has tripled in price since July 2011.
People have great concerns about losing their animals and their ranches due to the extreme circumstances. Many farmers--facing no hay and no money--are abandoning their animals, many of which are starving to death. Dry pastures and lack of hay leave these individuals feeling they have no other choices.
For those of us in farm animal rescue these costs are crippling us. We have grave concerns about keeping our current rescued animals maintained, and some rescue groups may not be able to survive the current hardships. In addition, the lack of hay and rising costs impede the rescue efforts of all groups. Animal rescue demands are rising because of animal owners not being able to support their current herds.
Governor Perry, We need your help. The animals and ranchers need your help. We look to your leadership and abilities to help us manage this crisis. Please immediately put a relief plan in place and use state resources to bring hay to Texas.