Teamsters Pitch In to Bring Hay to Oklahoma Family Farmers

Sep 09, 2011, 11:03 ET from Teamsters Joint Council 56

Tractor-trailers Hauled More than 10 Tons of Hay to Starving Cattle

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamster members from across the Midwest came together today to help out drought-stricken farms in Oklahoma by hauling in fresh hay for cattle. Teamster drivers with tractor trailers from Ohio, Indiana and Missouri picked up hay in Wisconsin and hauled it to a location just outside of Oklahoma City where farmers and ranchers could pick up the much-needed food for their cattle and livestock.

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The Teamsters participation is in partnership with Farm Aid, Wisconsin-based Family Farm Defenders and the Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project, which is coordinating hay distribution to farmers in need. The effort came about last month at the annual Farm Aid concert in Kansas City, where Oklahoma farmers asked for help and told of farmers and ranchers who have been so badly affected by drought that they have nothing to feed their livestock. Since this year has been especially dry in Oklahoma, grazing is impossible, farmers' crops were lost and many herds of cattle are near starvation level. Wisconsin farmers, in immediate solidarity, offered to donate hay, and Farm Aid offered to find a way to get that hay to Oklahoma.

"Teamsters have always been ready and willing to help those in need," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President.  "When Farm Aid asked us for help last month, we immediately went into action to round up the appropriate trucks to haul the hay to the dry fields in Oklahoma."

For this hay lift, the Teamsters were a natural fit. The Teamsters have a long relationship with Farm Aid, including helping out with previous hay lifts and volunteering as drivers each year at the Farm Aid concerts.  

Approximately 10 tons of hay were hauled by the Teamster members to help out the farmers of Oklahoma. 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 to the effort.

The Teamsters Union has responded to past national crises with similar vigor. Five years ago when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and other states, Teamster members from around the country contributed funds and offered time to help families rebuild their homes. Even now, as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 grows near, Teamster members are instrumental in the construction of the new buildings at the World Trade Center in New York City.  More than 1,200 construction and delivery personnel work daily on the center's rebuilding project – all of them Teamster members.

SOURCE Teamsters Joint Council 56



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