CORVALLIS - A "hay-lift" between central and coastal Oregon is the first of many flood recovery activities planned by the Oregon State University Extension Service to aid the state dairy industry.
Among the regions hit hardest by Oregon's "Flood of '96" is Tillamook County, where dairy producers are struggling with a host of problems brought on by slowly receding flood waters.
To help get the dairy industry back on its feet, the OSU Extension Service has appointed an eight-member emergency task force with members from seven OSU colleges and departments to assist local efforts and help producers cope with the devastation.
"As of Thursday, 11 truck loads of hay from central Oregon have arrived in Tillamook County to replace water-damaged feed," said Mylen Bohle, a Crook County Extension agent who is coordinating the hay-lift from eastern Oregon.
"Receding flood waters in the county revealed silt covered pastures and hay fields, water-logged hay bales, contaminated soil and livestock feed," said Joy Jones, task force chair and Tillamook County Extension agriculture and 4-H agent. "In addition, producers are concerned about livestock health and how they are going to get their dairy production back up to speed."
Jones will serve as the local coordinator in Tillamook County for the OSU Extension Service's contribution to the dairy recovery effort.
"Beyond the production problems there is also the concern of helping producers and their families deal with stress and depression," Jones said.
Tillamook dairy production was worth $62 million in 1995.
Milk processing more than doubles this value, so "the disruption of the dairy industry has dealt a serious blow to the county's economy," said Mike Gamroth, OSU Extension Service administrator for counties.