Oklahoma 'Hay Connection' Benefits Buyers And Sellers

Sunday, August 21st 2011, 4:37 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The brutal heat and dry weather have made this year a challenge for farmers and ranchers. Hay production, in particular, has taken a beating.

Many farmers have only made only about half as much hay as normal.

"The severe drought and stuff that we've had has made it extremely hard - especially on the small, the family farm, the mom and pop operations," said Tulsan Clint Round.

Clint Round heard from his friends and saw the tough conditions, so he turned to the Internet to find a solution. He and his brother created the Hay Connection on Facebook.

It helps match buyers and sellers. He started it last Wednesday, and by Sunday afternoon more than 2,300 people had "liked" it.

"Here's someone from Hollywood, South Carolina area," Round said, indicating the Facebook page.

His new friends were from all over the country: Central Florida, Long Island, New York, Waller, Texas - you name the place, and someone is either looking for or selling hay.

7/27/2011 Related Story: Drought, Heat Force Oklahoma Ranchers To Take Drastic Action

"This is kind of interesting, it's kind of different," Round said, reading a Facebook post:

'New Mexico State University rodeo students looking for horse hay, reasonably priced, Las Cruces, New Mexico. Anyone having any leads please answer this post.'

Round says he was a little worried about whether farmers or ranchers would get connected on the Internet. But he quickly learned that the farmers who don't have a Facebook page have sons and daughters who do, and the reaction has been overwhelming.

"Makes you feel good; it kind of gets to you," he said.

Round is proud of how fast the site has grown and hopes the farmers are able to get the help they need.

But don't look for him to take any credit - he just sees himself as the messenger.

"I mean, honestly, all I did was take a few minutes to create this page, but the reason it's working is - it's neighbors helping, friends helping friends...it's them that are making it work," said Clint Round, administrator of The Hay Connection page on Facebook.

Round is not making any money on the venture. He simply looks for people needing hay then searches other web sites to find people selling hay.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Hay hotline is 1-800-580-6543