Hutchisons haul hay, help Har­vey’s hun­gry horses

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By DENAE SPIERING dspier­ing@ches­pub.com

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.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

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.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

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.

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