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, 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.
For more information contact Michael Trusclair at:
Ph: 985-758-2162 ext.3
Story submitted by: Paul Wallace
“Helping People Help the Land”
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