Illinois Farmers To Help Hurricane Harvey Victims In Texas

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois Farm Bureau is getting ready to mobilize to help farmers and ranchers in South Texas, whose livelihoods have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

Illinois endured the Great Flood of 1993 along the Mississippi River. It was a crippling blow for farmers.

Blake Roderick, executive director of the Pike and Scott County Farm Bureaus in west central Illinois, remembers the help Illinois received from people elsewhere, and he said Illinois would help farmers in Texas.

“I am a graduate of Texas A&M University, so a lot of my Aggie friends are in that flooded area, so we have a natural disposition to go down and help those folks,” he said.

Roderick said, with him, it’s personal.

“When you’ve been through the Flood of ’93, you know what people are going through. You know what they’re going to go through,” he said. “In a lot of ways, my heart’s in Texas.”

If this were a normal year, South Texas farmers would be almost ready to harvest their cotton.

“The crop has been pretty much ruined, from what I understand,” Roderick said. “The cotton is under two feet of water in some places; or even deeper, if you’re along the Brazos River or some of the other rivers there.”

Roderick said South Texas also has about 25 percent of the cattle in the state, so livestock also has seen a major impact from the storm.

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