Teamsters Bring Free Hay For Oklahomans In Need

Friday, September 9th 2011, 10:53 pm
By: News 9

Havonnah Johnson, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Teamsters members from as far away as Indiana and Ohio heard Oklahoma farmers were suffering, so they answered the cattle's call by bringing hay from Wisconsin.

Dozens of farmers from across Oklahoma drove to the metro ready to load up on hay. There were three semi- trucks full of it, which was given away.

In the midst of drought and massive wildfires, farmers said getting hay is better than gold.

"The land is so dry we can't bale it, haul it, nothing. We ain't got no rain," said Van Cruse, a local farmer.

After hearing from hundreds of distressed Oklahoma farmers, Willard Tillman of the Oklahoma Black Historical Farmers Project decided to stop complaining and start advocating.

Teamsters heard the horse's neigh and brought in three semi trucks full of free hay.

"It just blew my mind when she told me. I was like ‘There is no such thing as free hay.' You look around this world, nothing is free. It just blew my mind. I was like, ‘Holy cow!'" Cruse said.

"Last year you can get a round bale of hay, you can spend $45. This year they're asking $100 for it, so you either got to pay it or sell your cattle off," said farmer Tyrone Lewis.

Selling cattle doesn't just hurt the farmer, but Tillman said it's a domino effect which eventually drives prices up on everything, including groceries.

"How it hurts the rural economy is he cannot purchase other services that are right there in his rural community, like things from other farmers," Tillman said.

The Teamsters gave away more than $13,200 worth of hay.