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"Building Fences in Texas Until the Cows Come Home"—Amish Volunteer Labor to Ranchers Affected by Hurricane

Teresa Neumann : Feb 18, 2009  Cindy Horswell - Houston Chronicle

Some are "returning a favor" to Texas ranchers after Texans helped Amish in Indiana town after a powerful tornado hit in 2007.

Amish working(Houston, Texas)—Thirty-five Amish volunteers with Fellowship of Christian Farmers have traveled to the Gulf Coast to help rebuild hundreds of miles of cattle ranch fences destroyed by Hurricane Ike. As noted in a report in the Houston Chronicle, the hurricane produced a storm surge that submerged 600 square miles "leaving dead cows hanging from tree limbs as high as 20 feet." (Photo by: Melissa Phillip/Chronicle)

In all, it is estimated that 20,000 cows died, while another 2,500 are still unaccounted for.

According to the report, ranchers cannot return cows to their pastures until fences are restored and many ranchers have been forced to sell their herds. The situation is apparently "breaking" some of the ranchers.

The Amish Good Samaritans are reportedly facing their own financial crises at home in Indiana where they have been laid off of work or had their hours severely cut back.

"This was the first time I saw the ocean and rode a ferry," said on 18-year-old Amish farmer, Aaron Easch. "This trip was also my first time on a train. When I got off, I felt like I was still swaying."

Of the Amish workers, one Texas ranch hand said: "What they can complete in a week, would take others most of the summer to do."
To read more about what the Amish are experiencing while in Texas, click on the link provided.







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