Noble Foundation helps during drought

ARDMORE, OK--Texoma is suffering through one of the worst droughts in history - from heat illness, to wildfires, to record power demand. However, it may be worst for those who make their living off the land that's why one Oklahoma agency is trying to help. Kristen Shanahan has the story.

Louis Hope says he's been a rancher all his life, but this is the worst drought he's ever seen. With no grass and dried up water holes he just doesn't know if he can keep his ranch alive.

"We're right on the boarder line if we're going to be able to keep going or not," Hope said.

Hope says the dreadful weather has caused him a lot of stress, not only for him, but his cattle. He says with little to no grass the cows have been living off hay for the past month. He says hay's expensive, and he's running low, and there may be only one thing that can save his ranch.

"I keep hoping that we get a rain, but we haven't had a rain," Hope said.

The Noble Foundation Agricultural Division Consultation Program Manager Hugh Aljoe agrees this has been one of the worst droughts in the country's history. He says it's mainly affecting cattle and wheat production. He says they've been busy trying to help those in the Ag. Business, like Hope, to get through these hard months.

"You feel for them. Your heart goes out for them. Our phones are ringing all day long with people trying to find solutions to get to this next month, or till next Spring, and when we really begin to look at it you know you really want to keep these people in business," Aljoe said.

Aljoe says the best management is to not do any more damage than necessary. He says cattle may have to be moved somewhere else, or some people may even have to destalk.

Aljoe says producers have always had to deal with too much or too little of something, and somehow they'll get through it. Even if that means they have to get out of the business for awhile.

"They're used to dealing with adversity. They'll rebound it just may not be as easy or as soon as they like," Aljoe said.

Aljoe says the most important thing for producers is to plan for the future. He says The Noble Foundation has just launched a website that has tips and more about ways to get through this dry spell.

To visit that website go to www.noble.org/drought/.


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