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Success Stories Restore Livestock Operations after Hurricane Katrina | Louisiana

Success Stories: Restore Livestock Operations after Hurricane Katrina | Louisiana Shared Top Border

USDA/NRCS Assist Plaquemines SWCD Board Member Implement Conservation Practices to Restore Livestock Operations after Hurricane Katrina

Ms. Patty Vogt is a board member on the Plaquemines Soil and Water Conservation District. She is also a cattle rancher, tomato grower, and a citrus producer. She has been very active within her district to save her parish from coastal erosion and making sure the cattle under her care have proper pasture nutrients and clean water. Ms. Vogt takes pride in her operation; she manages 6,000 acres of land which include 300 Brangus cattle, 4,000 citrus trees and many tomato plants. Ms. Vogt has spent her entire life taking care of family land in Plaquemines Parish.

Ms. Vogt lives in Homeplace, Louisiana in Plaquemines Parish, and lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. Among her losses were 238 head of Brangus cattle, 4,000 citrus trees, many tomato plants, pasture fencing, a hay barn, corral, and a catch pen. This caused Ms. Vogt to lose her livelihood. Ms. Vogt�s pastures were covered with marshgrass and other vegetation that had to be removed or burned. The salt water killed most of the common Bermudagrass in her pastures. Ms. Vogt was able to rescue 51 head of her cattle herd, however eleven died later from salt water intake. Ms. Vogt found some of her cattle hanging in trees caused from the high water and found some of her cattle dead on the side of the levee from the contaminated water. All 4,000 citrus trees were lost from Hurricane Katrina. �I have not been able to restore my citrus orchard because it takes three years for a citrus tree to start producing fruits.�

Mr. Michael Trusclair and Ms. Vogt examine the farm.
Mr. Michael Trusclair, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), District Conservationist for the Plaquemines and Crescent SWCD has been giving Ms. Vogt conservation technical assistance in order to restore her fencing, pasture land, forage quality, and watering facilities. It has taken two years for Ms. Vogt to bring her property, cattle herd, fruit, and vegetables back in operation. With assistance from NRCS, Ms. Vogt is getting all of her property fencing replaced. She has also installed watering facilities for a source of clean water for the continuously grazed pasture. Soon Ms.Vogt will be able to move 50-60 Brangus heifers to her property. Her pastures are now clean of debris, and common bermudagrass has returned in her pastures, which will be great when she moves her cattle back on the land. Ms. Vogt is not yet able to return to Plaquemines to live, she must commute from Tangipahoa Parish in order to bring her operation back to pre-storm conditions.

Ms. Vogt is a very determined woman to get back and put up with the damage and headaches of losing her livelihood, pride, joy, and Plaquemines Parish. She is on her way to having her ranch and farm back to some kind of normalcy.

Ms. Vogt's farm.

Ms. Vogt's farm.
For more information contact Michael Trusclair at:
Ph: 985-758-2162 ext.3

Story submitted by: Paul Wallace
Ph: 318-473-7778

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Updated 01-18-08