Hutchisons haul hay, help Harvey’s hungry horses
EASTON — Ethan Hutchison, 26, of Easton, has started a movement across the farming community to bring relief to the thousands of animals in Texas that have been affected by the devastating hurricane that destroyed a large portion of the state on Friday, Aug. 25.
“Nobody really thinks about the animals, everyone thinks about the people affected and that’s great, but the animals were affected too,” Ethan Hutchison said. “They have nothing now, no feed or hay, like the people affected they have lost everything too.”
Hutchison said he was driving on his way to work one morning about two weeks ago and something just told him he needed to be the one to do this.
“I thought to myself, there is no way, but it kept coming back to me,” Ethan Hutchison said. “I just knew I had to do it, I just think I needed to do it.”
He said that evening he took to Facebook and put a call out to his friends to see if anyone wanted to help him gather supplies and possibly take one truck load down to Texas.
“Within 12 hours the post had been shared 46 times and I had a trailer filled with hay and straw and was star ting to fill a second trailer,” Hutchison said. “With people there is long list of things they need, but when it comes to animals it’s simple — they need straw, hay and feed.”
On Thursday, Aug. 31, the Texas Farm Bureau released a statement and said the expected hay bale harvest for this year was around two million bales; Hurricane Harvey has reduced that estimated number by as much as 400,000 bales.
Currently, Hutchison has one tractor-trailer, and several goose neck trailers that are filled with hay and straw. He also has a live stock trailer loaded with horse feed, salt blocks, cat food, dog food, bowls, blankets and anything else an animal may need.
“It is going very well, people keep asking me if I am getting overwhelmed with it, I’m not overwhelmed from doing it at all,” Hutchison said. “But I am overwhelmed with the amount of people that want to help. You see all these things in the news and then something like this happens and you see there is a still lot of good in people, and that’s what is overwhelming.”
He said the trailers will be pulling out early on Friday, Sept. 15, and he and several others including his two brothers and their father will be delivering the convoy to the Texas Farm Bureau in Beaumont, Texas. The group plans to be back by Sunday night, just in time for work the next morning.
Hutchison said for the most part he will be covering the cost to make the trip, but said he has had a few cash donations given to him for fuel, pit stops and any needed supplies that were not already donated.
He said due to the outpouring of people wanting to help he will be organizing a second trip for the month of October.
“We had one lady drop off supplies, and she said she has 1,000 bales for us,” Hutchison said. “We are going to have to take that on the second trip.”
Hutchison knows all about animals and what they may need, he grew up on a farm right off of Chapel Road in Easton.
Hutchison works as a mechanic by day and a fourth-generation farmer by night. He said in the evenings he helps his father, Paul Hutchison, on the family farm in Easton.
Ethan Hutchison said his greatgrandfather started the farm and his dad grew up there and continues to work it today.
Paul Hutchison is helping him to organize the donations and the 1,400-mile trip to Beaumont.
“He (Ethan) just decided he wanted to this,” Paul Hutchison said. “I told him, okay, let’s do it. We will figure it out.”
Paul Hutchison said before they knew it they had to borrow three trailers to put all the donations in.
“We figured we would take one load, and that would be it,” Paul Hutchison said. “But it has turned into so much more. Everyone is finding out and are donating to us.”
He said one person dropped off six pallets of dog food which filled one trailer alone.
“It adds up quick,” Paul Hutchison said. “Lots of people are really stepping up.”
Ethan Hutchison said he is overjoyed with what they have been able to put together so far and hopes it will make a difference.
“It’s not a great amount,” Hutchison said. “I wish we could do more, but every little bit helps, I just feel for them.”
Hutchison said if anyone would like to help or donate to please call him at 443-786-1125.
Pictured above from left P.J. Hutchison, Paul Hutchison and Ethan Hutchison as they stand in front of some of the hay bales they will be hauling to Texas.
Ethan Hutchison, of Easton is gathering supplies to haul to Texas for the thousands of animals that were affected by Hurricane Harvey. Several of Hutchison’s family members will be aiding him in the task including his brother P.J. Hutchison and father Paul Hutchison. Pictured above from left P.J. Hutchison, Paul Hutchison and Ethan Hutchison.