As all of us follow the flooding in Louisiana, we would like to share information concerning our Farm Bureau colleagues and friends there. Every state faces natural disasters, but with the Louisiana Farm Bureau office located in Baton Rouge and several Farm Bureau staff members living in the area, this disaster hits especially close to home.
We have communicated with LAFB staff and learned that the Farm Bureau office is fine, but about 65 staff are affected by flooding at their homes and some county offices are under water. Friends, neighbors and colleagues are all pitching in to help each other with cleanup, temporary housing and, eventually, rebuilding. We have encouraged LAFB President Ronnie Anderson, Administrator Jim Monroe and other staff members to let us know how AFBF and the Farm Bureau family can help, and we will relay that information to other state Farm Bureaus.
The other side of the situation is the impact to Louisiana’s farmers. While there are news reports that rice crop losses total about $14.3 million, those estimates are “highly speculative” and, of course, don’t include the many other commodities produced in Louisiana. LAFB tells us that state agricultural officials are out doing assessments and, again, LAFB will share information with us as soon as it is available so we can share it with you and with federal agencies and members of Congress.
For now, we just want to share what we’ve learned. I know that all our hearts go out to our friends in Louisiana, as well as the farmers and ranchers affected by drought and fire in California, excessive rain in the Midwest, and hot, dry conditions throughout the South. Let’s continue to keep them all in our thoughts and prayers.