The farming community of Jefferson County is struggling amidst this severe drought
Land left untouched, workers laid off due to short growing seasons, and to help fight this drought a dozen churches got together Sunday to pray.
Pray for rain.
This was the first big gathering for a lot of these churches since the pandemic.
Two words were repeatedly said when talking about getting through this drought, hope, and prayer.
“I led a prayer about the drought and just asking God for, just a miracle,” said fifth generation Culver farmer Evan Thomas. “That’s what it’s going to take right now, a miracle.”
A dozen churches and more than 100 people came together at the Madras Free Methodist church to pray for water.
“It’s tough,” Evans said. “It’s tough to keep your employees, it’s tough to think about next year, knowing where Wickiup is again, the irrigation reservoir we get our water from. I said it last night and I will say it again, I’ve just been standing that he wasn’t going to give me one drop more or one drop less than I need.”
Due to the water shortage, Thomas was only able to grow crops on less than half of his 1,200-acre farm.
“All the overhead costs are still there, all of our land rents, we still have to pay for our full two feet of water even though we will only get eight tenths of our water this year,” Thomas added. “So, it’s expensive and there’s not too many years it’s going to be sustainable.”
It didn’t matter the church, or the denomination, they all came together for one purpose.
“We worshiped and we prayed and we’re just expecting God to help,” said lead pastor at the Free Methodist Church Rick Herbert. “Help the farmers, help the workers that work for the farmers and just help our area and you know, bring rain.”
The group prayed for firefighters, first responders and anyone affected by fires and the drought.
“Without water we are not going to be able to produce food and food doesn’t come straight from the grocery store,” Thomas said. “It starts right here.”
The irrigation water in Jefferson County will be shut off mid-August.