Southern SAWG wants to extend its deepest condolences to the flood victims in Louisiana. The photos and videos made us gasp and weep for the devastation to land, livestock and human life. If you are a farmer affected by the flood or someone who would like to help out farmers who were affected by the flood, below are some resources.
The Gotreaux Family Farms
In a recent Modern Farmer, the impact of the flooding on Brian and Dawn Gotreaux's farm was the leading story. Brian Gotreaux reported that they lost 99 percent of their crops to the flood. Some of you may remember the Gotreauxs and their 10 children from our conference. Every one of their children came to learn and attended every session they could. And all of these children are workers too, each with significant farm responsibilities.
"By hosting field days and presenting at the Southern SAWG conference, Brian and Dawn Gotreaux have generously shared valuable farming experiences and lessons with the Southern SAWG community over the years. Their incredibly diverse farming operation is truly remarkable. I hope the Southern SAWG family can give back to the Gotreauxs in this time of need and we can help sustain this important family farm." --Jean Mills, SSAWG Conference Coordinator
If you can assist this family, a dear friend started a gofundme page to help them get back to the business of farming.
If You Are Seeking Assistance:
Farm Aid's Farmer Resource Network is always a good place to start. By selecting the kind of help you need, the type of farm you have and the state where you reside, you will find a list of organizations geared to help. Our recent search in Louisiana pointed to 21 valuable links.
One of these organizations is the Louisiana Interchurch Conference in Baton Rouge. If your farm has been affected by the disaster, get in touch with the church office. Staff can point you in the right direction if you need financial assistance, help working with FSA, or other disaster relief agencies.
Since 1969, Southern Mutual Help Association (SMHA) has always been there to assist others in need and to build community. They are currently assisting families in the West End of New Iberia. Sister Helen Vinton currently serves on the board. And, did you know Sr. Vinton was a founding member of Southern SAWG? So our roots go back quite a ways with SMHA. They are currently assisting families in New Iberia area.
With thanks to Lowcountry Local First, our website also has a page full of links to helpful organizations.
If You Want to Help:
"Helping Farmers in Tough Times" is Breada's motto. Donate to their LA Small Farm Fund and you will be helping small farmers who have experienced the loss of crops and equipment due to the devastating storms of March 2016 and the flood of August 2016.
The Louisiana Interchurch Conference is also set up to receive donations toward disaster relief. If you are moved to help farm flood victims, visit the church's website and make a donation, indicating in the note space that monies be used for the recent flooding.
Southern Mutual Help Association has a lot of experience in disaster relief. If you want to help folks in the West End of New Iberia, you can donate here.
If we learn of other farms in the Southern SAWG network needing help recovering from this flood, or even the recent hurricane, we'll let you know through our social media outlets.