Alabama Farm Credit donates hay to hurricane-hit cattle producers

Welcoming the hay delivery to the Baldwin County Fairgrounds are, from left, Alabama Farm Credit staffers Marty Graham, Wendy Tysinger and Samantha Southerland; Erin Hunter Beasley, Alabama Cattlemen's Association; Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate; Casey Raper, CR Cattle Company; Alabama Farm Credit CEO Mel Koller; and Alabama State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier. (Alabama Farm Credit)

CULLMAN, Ala. – South Alabama cattle producers who lost hay and pasture to hurricanes this fall recently received help from north Alabama agricultural lending cooperative Alabama Farm Credit.

Alabama Farm Credit donated 200 large round bales of hay to cattle producers in Baldwin County, which was struck by two hurricanes in six weeks. Twenty producers each received 10 large bales, with the hay and transportation provided by Alabama Farm Credit Nov. 9.

“Our friends and neighbors in south Alabama have been hit hard with natural disasters. We’re glad to partner with the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association to offer some relief to the cattlemen and cattlewomen in this area,” said Mel Koller, Alabama Farm Credit president and chief executive officer.

Koller’s staff learned about the plight of Baldwin County farmers from the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association in late October. Loan officers quickly located Alabama Farm Credit customers and other local farmers who had extra hay. Within three days, the lender had purchased enough hay to fill six semi-trucks.

The cattlemen’s association helped coordinate the delivery to producers needing hay.

Koller said one of the six truck drivers was especially glad to help with the hay relief effort.

“Casey Raper of CR Cattle Company was willing to lend a hand to repay volunteers from Baldwin County, who’d come up to his area to assist with disaster relief after the 2011 tornados,” Koller said. “This just goes to show you how Alabamians’ generosity comes full circle.”

Baldwin County stretches north from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and lies between Mobile and the Florida border. The county was struck by Hurricane Sally in mid-September and Hurricane Zeta in late October.

Alabama Farm Credit finances farms, forestry operations, agribusinesses, country homes, recreational land and other rural property in 27 north Alabama counties. It’s headquartered in Cullman and has branch offices in Albertville, Athens, Cullman, Talladega and Tuscumbia.