Farmers Provide Helping Hands in Wake of Catastrophic Floods

by Allie Doise, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation

Billy Doiron, a cattle rancher in Livingston Parish, passes out food and supplies to one of the many flood victims in his area.  More than 90 percent of the homes in his parish were affected by the flooding last month.  Doiron said it wasn’t enough to just take care of his operation, he had to help neighbors get back on their feet in any way he could. 

Billy Doiron, a cattle rancher in Livingston Parish, passes out food and supplies to one of the many flood victims in his area.  More than 90 percent of the homes in his parish were affected by the flooding last month.  Doiron said it wasn’t enough to just take care of his operation, he had to help neighbors get back on their feet in any way he could. 

When the catastrophic August flood devastated parts of south Louisiana, many of the state’s farmers and ranchers left their fields to assist others.

A group of about 30 Louisiana Farm Bureau volunteers traveled to Denham Springs to help their neighbors during this difficult time.  Farmers and volunteers from across the state teamed up to grill burgers and provide meals for nearly 1500 residents and relief workers in Livingston Parish. 

“We did as many as 1200 or 1500 burgers before one o’clock today and it’s been a tremendous turnout,” said Scott Wiggers, 2nd Vice of President of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. “A lot of volunteers have helped us. We’re just trying to give a meal to people who are tearing down their homes and doing all the hard work.  We’re trying to feed them and help them get on with their lives.”

Farm Bureau volunteers didn’t stop there. Billy Doiron, Livingston Parish Farm Bureau member, delivered lunches to homes of those affected in the area.

“I’m just out delivering burgers for people working, and we’re just trying to help them out any way that we can,” Doiron said.  “This past week I’ve been helping out my family, they lost parts of their homes.  So, we’re just trying to help them out and this is one less thing for them to worry about and we’re just trying to help them out the best we can.”

Ronnie Anderson, president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau, said the story is the same across the area.  Farmers and ranchers are doing their part to help their neighbors in times of need.

“We’ve got farmers that are taking their planting crews from the field and bringing them over to help strip houses because it’s too wet to plant,” Anderson said.

Doiron said it’s a blessing to have Farm Bureau’s help in a tough time for their family. 

“It’s really great to see Farm Bureau come together and feed these people,” Doiron said.  “It’s just unbelievable how they all come together to try to help everybody.  It really brings out the best in everybody.”    

“I think it’s the idea that somebody cares,” Anderson added.  “They know they’re in trouble. The worst thing in something like this is to be forgotten. And they know we care.”