More than 20 truckloads of hay were delivered from Iowa to Texas farmers coping with severe drought.
The hay lift was initiated by Pastor Harold McMillin of St. John Lutheran (ELCA), Luana. While visiting with Texas residents at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, Fla., last week, Pastor McMillin learned how Texas ranchers were having to sell their herds due to a lack of food. McMillin suggested a hay lift, and the three ELCA bishops from Iowa met with three ELCA bishops from Texas to plan a joint project. They decided to designate the Northeastern Iowa Synod as a pilot synod to get the hay lift project off the ground. If this initial effort is successful, plans are for Iowa’s other two ELCA synods to organize hay lifts statewide.
Five local farmers, including four from St. John Lutheran (ELCA), Luana, made the initial donations of hay for the project. Others have also contributed, including farmers from Waverly, Dunkerton, Garnavillo, Decorah, Ossian, Castalia, Postville, Monona, Jesup, La Porte City, Le Mars, Humboldt, Holstein, Moorhead, Dunlap, Shenandoah, Clear Lake, Wis., and Gentry Mo. Lutheran Disaster Relief contributed $25,000 to purchase additional hay and to help pay for trucking costs. Plans are to help the ranchers have enough hay to last until they are able to have their own crops again.
The biggest challenge was finding the trucks and drivers to deliver the hay.
“Heaven-Sent Hay,” Successful Farming, December 2011
“Glenwood Church sends hay to Texas,” Decorah Newspapers, 10-25-11
“Pastor hopes volunteer spirit extends to Texas hay lift,” Waterloo Courier, 10-6-11
“Iowa hay on its way to parched South,” Waterloo Courier, 8-30-11