Livestock Feed Needs and Donations Being Coordinated by Farm Service Agency
Charleston, W.Va. - Farmers who have or need hay or other livestock feed should directly contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. A list of offices and details on FSA emergency programs are available online at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.
FSA emergency program information is available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/disaster-designation-information/index.
"The Farm Service Agency is collecting farm damage data for potential emergency compensation from the federal government, and they already publish a list of hay for sale, so it's only logical they coordinate immediate animal feed needs," said West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick.
"We know that neighboring farmers are helping each other with these issues already and that's great," he continued. "But anyone who would like to help and doesn't know how, or who needs help and doesn't have any, this is the avenue they should pursue."
Donors only may contact FSA county offices or email Leanne.Taylor@wv.usda.gov.
Helmick stressed that any flood-related damage, regardless of size or value, should be reported so that the most accurate total possible can be reported to the federal government.
West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) staff members have been working non-stop since flooding began last week, delivering numerous truckloads of stockpiled meals-ready-to-eat (MREs) and cleaning supplies to affected areas, as well as helping set up companion animal care centers.
Staff also worked with West Virginia American Water Company to open up the company's Princeton treatment facility to water haulers serving flood-affected farmers who need water for livestock. Anyone needing that service should call 304-425-9631.
WVDA Homeland Security Coordinator Roy McCallister said that people wishing to donate pet supplies can take them directly to one of three shelters:
Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association, 1248 Greenbrier Street, Charleston, 304-342-1576; Greenbrier County Humane Association, 151 Holiday Drive, Lewisburg, 304-645-4775; Fayette County Volunteers, 26719 Midland Trail (Midland Trail High School), Lookout, 681-318-8327.
Other animal shelters may be in operation that the state is unaware of at this point, McCallister added.
Large donations of pet supplies, palletized loads for example, should be delivered to the WV State Commodities Distribution Warehouse, 2700 East DuPont Avenue in Belle, site of the old Murphy Mart store in the Quincy Shopping Center.
The center is currently open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. However, workers are asking for a minimum two-hour notice of large deliveries. The phone number is 304-881-2708.
"WVDA staff has gone above and beyond the call of duty during this emergency, as have public employees and volunteers throughout the state," said Commissioner Helmick. "As a lifelong West Virginian, I am not the slightest bit surprised by this response, but I am thankful all the same."