Helping Farms and Ranches Post-Harvey

It's nothing compared to Hurricane Harvey, but our part of Southwest Florida received some serious rain and experienced some surprising flooding over the past week. The deluge did a number on our gardens, fruit trees, and berry bushes, so after letting everything dry out for a few days, I got to work this morning. 

I was lamenting that our vegetable garden looked particularly wilted after 14 inches of rain in 3 days, but that got me thinking about those farmers and ranchers in Texas who have had more than double that rainfall in the past week. Houston is still underwater, but so are many farms. So are some ranches. While there are thousands whose homes will be a total loss, many will still have jobs after everyone figures out their new normal once the floodwaters recede and rebuilding begins.  I cannot imagine, however, the fear many of these farmers feel as they face losing their homes and their livelihoods due to the floods, high winds, and potential inability to feed their livestock due to loss of feed/hay stores.

I've spent 25 of my 30 years in Florida; I've seen firsthand how devastating a hurricane can be to a grove of orange trees, strawberry fields, or a cattle ranch that doesn't have enough high ground. I know how shocking it is to drive down a familiar county road suddenly rendered unrecognizable--giant pine trees snapped like twigs or tilted at angles with all remaining branches and needles leaning the same direction like a Dr. Seuss illustration brought to life. It's upsetting. I imagine that Texas will be seeing the same and worse in the coming days and weeks.

I know everyone knows how to donate to the Red Cross (if you don't: text "Harvey" to 90999 to donate $10), but there are some options available if you'd like to ensure your donations go to farmers or ranchers whose homes and businesses are deeply affected by Harvey:

Texas A&M AgriLife Animal Supplies Donations: Call 979-845-7800.

(all of the above information is verified--I pulled it from the Texas Department of Agriculture or Texas Animal Health Commission websites)

If you're looking for other ways to donate to those who will need a hand in the coming days and weeks post-Harvey, the New York Times aggregated a fantastic list of verified options: Where to Donate to Harvey Victims.


Lindsay Sweeting was in the world of Marketing and Publicity in her previous life. These days you're more likely to see her running after her toddler than running a meeting, but she does her best to find time to create new recipes, come up with fun activities for her daughter, and write about the craziness that is life in the Sweeting house.

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