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Group continues farm-rebuilding efforts along the Gulf Coast

Agriculture.com Staff 09/19/2006 @ 8:56am

The Fellowship of Christian Farmers International (FCFI) recently announced its "Building Fences in the Bayou...'til the Cows Come Home" campaign will continue through the fall and winter months.

Sept. 24 marks the one-year anniversary of Hurriacane Rita's landfall, one of the most devastating weather events in American agricultural history.

One year ago Hurricane Rita's storm surge pushed the Gulf of Mexico over a 100-mile by 25-mile area of Cameron and Vermillion Parishes in southwest Louisiana. Three feet of saltwater covered rice fields, sugar cane fields and pastureland for a month. This saltwater contamination of the soil was followed by a drought that wasn't broken until 14 inches of rain fell there in the month of July.

Never in American history has a group of farmers and ranchers battled storm surge for a month followed by six months of drought.

Yet, these farm families in the Bayou, with the help of their new friends from 14 states, have rebuilt perimeter fences, kept their cowherd alive with levee grazing, shipped in hay and are beginning to rebuild their homes.

The Fellowship of Christian Farmers is continuing its delivery of donated hay to southern Louisiana cattlemen and Mississippi dairymen. The organization needs the help of farmer-owned semi-tractor trailer flatbeds to haul the hay to the Gulf Coast. Donations of diesel fuel are also needed. The group will pay for fuel and permits for farmer owned trucking.

The Fellowship of Christian Farmers is coordinating work teams to help rebuild farm family homes. Fence building will resume in the fall and winter now that the hot months of the summer are behind us. Many farms are rebuilding their homes to the 12-foot elevation hurricane code.

FCFI has established a mobile office and lodging for 30 people each week. Cost is $25.00 per person for as long as you can stay and work. Facilities include a full kitchen.

The Fellowship of Christian Farmers International (FCFI) recently announced its "Building Fences in the Bayou...'til the Cows Come Home" campaign will continue through the fall and winter months.

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