FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 9, 2011

CONTACT:
Scott Rieder
(202) 248-5476
srieder@vancomm.com

Teamsters Join Wisconsin Family Farmers, Farm Aid to Organize Second Round of Relief for Drought-Stricken Oklahoma Farmers

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Farm Aid and the Teamsters organized a second haylift for farmers and ranchers devastated by drought in Oklahoma to deliver much-needed resources donated by Wisconsin family farmers. The plan came together at the annual Farm Aid concert, held Saturday, Aug. 13, in Kansas City, Kan., where farmers shared stories of parched farmland and starved livestock. The first haylift was organized on August 25.

Wisconsin-based Family Farm Defenders put the call out for hay donations and farmers generously stepped up to donate tons of hay that can be used as feed for livestock. The hay will be delivered to the Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project, which is coordinating distribution. The entire state of Oklahoma is under a severe drought classification, with 70 percent of the state classified as under “exceptional” drought conditions, the worst rating. Due to the drought, farmers and ranchers have no pasture on which to graze their livestock and their crops have been scorched. Hay is difficult to come by and expensive, with the cost of transporting hay from non-drought states to the South being the largest expense.

The first hay delivery from Wisconsin was transported by two trucks donated by Shomotion, a live touring company that Farm Aid has worked with in the production of its annual concert. This second delivery of 10 tons of hay is made possible by Teamster members from across the Midwest. Teamsters Local Union 135 in Indianapolis, Ind.; the Ohio Conference of Teamsters; and Kansas City’s Joint Council 56 all donated their time and tractors for the haylift. The Teamsters have a long history of partnership with Farm Aid; Teamster drivers volunteer each year at the annual Farm Aid concert and Teamsters have donated trucks and drivers for prior haylifts.

Other areas of the U.S. have been drastically impacted by drought, and Farm Aid has received offers of hay from many generous farmers across the Midwest. If you would like to help cover transportation costs, or have transportation to make available, please contact Farm Aid at 1-800-FARM-AID or farmhelp@farmaid.org. Learn more at www.farmaid.org.

Farm Aid's mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid's work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. Since 1985, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $39 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.

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