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Tue October 25, 2011
Drought-Stricken Texas Ranchers Ask Perry For Hay
By Richard Noriega, Texas Public Radio
Dallas, TX –
Drought conditions have Texas ranchers dealing with a critical shortage of affordable hay for their horses and livestock. One group wants Governor Rick Perry to provide relief. Texas Public Radio's Richard Noriega has the story.
The Texas drought is one of the worst on record and while the 100-degree days have ceased there is still the critical lack of water and hay across the state.
Sarah Parsons of Change-dot-org is working with the group Ranch Hand Rescue. She says things are so bad that horses and cattle are sometimes left to starve to death.
Sarah Parsons: Farm rescue organizations like ranch hand rescue are taking in some of the farm animals, as many as they can, but a lot of those organizations are just overwhelmed right now and there really isn't place for the animals to go.
Parsons says there are places in the nation where there is a surplus of hay and it could be brought to Texas, but ranchers can't afford the high fuel costs for transport. They are asking Governor Rick Perry to authorize using state funds for the emergency drought relief.
Sarah Parsons: In dire circumstances what we really need is government intervention is we are going to keep these small ranchers and farmers afloat and prevent them from completely losing their livelihoods.
Over a thousand people have signed an online petition asking Perry to intervene. The petition is posted at change-dot-org. State climate experts predict the drought will last through the winter and there's a strong chance it will last through next summer.
Richard Noriega reporting.