Dear Friends of TOFGA,
By now we’ve all seen images of the devastation caused by Harvey in East Texas. Outside of Houston and along the Gulf Coast, hundreds of organic and sustainable farmers and ranchers need your help. You can help by contributing to TOFGA’s Disaster Relief Fund. The Texas Organic Farmers & Gardener’s Association (TOFGA) is a statewide volunteer-run 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping organic and sustainable producers.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Texas farmers have needed help. The Disaster Relief Fund was established during the 2011 record drought which devastated livestock producers and growers across the state. For many East Texas farmers this is the third major flood they’ve experienced in 18 months! However, Texas farmers are an independent lot and don’t give up easily. We’ve seen farmers come back from severe drought damage one year to debilitating flooding the next. They keep a hopeful outlook, always believing that the next season can be better.
One of our board members, Leslie Marchand, has a family farm, Whitehurst Heritage Farm, that was flooded and had significant wind damage. Many of their neighbors suffered much more damage. Leslie’s husband Michael says it best in a video he posted shortly after Harvey:
“One of the things I’ll admit is… that we do have hard times, whether it be heat or storms, things happen… And because we’re proud and we’re can-do people and we don’t really want to talk about it… we sit out here silent… I think a lot of farmers - we’re all in the same boat. Yes, we do need help… It’s hard for us to admit we need help from time to time, but we do… We appreciate the support and the encouragement.”
Ways You Can Help Texas Farmers
- TOFGA has kick-started the Disaster Relief Fund with $1,000, and we encourage you to give what you can or find another way to donate or volunteer during the recovery efforts...
- If you know a local farmer impacted by the storm, you can donate directly to the farmer. You’ll know exactly who you are helping and how.
- Many organizations are raising funds to support farmers during their recovery efforts:
Thank you for staying in touch during this time. If you have questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out the full video of Michael Marchand of Whitehurst Heritage Farm.
From the TOFGA Board
Emily Erickson, President
Patrick Lillard, Vice President
James Buratti, Secretary
Robert Maggiani, Regional Director At-Large
Evan Driscoll, New Farmer Statewide Director
James Fairchild, Region 1 Director
Leah Gibson, Region 2 Director
Marie Tedei, Region 4 Director
Leslie Marchand, Region 5 Director
Dan Wickware, Region 6 Director