Ways to help latest wildfire, hurricane victims


Whether they’re part of the mainstream media’s 24-hour news cycle or not, disasters are hitting multiple parts of the United States right now. States in the Pacific Northwest are fighting scores of wildfires, while Hurricane Irma’s rise through Florida has drawn most of the attention over the weekend. And though Harvey itself may no longer be an acute threat to Texans, there’s is plenty of relief that needs to be done there.

We’ve brought together many of the major ways you can help our brothers and sisters in agriculture in these devastated regions. If there are others that you know of, we invite you to include them in the comments to help raise awareness for any organization or fund that’s hoping to help people, as well as reaching all of those in need of help.

If you are considering donating to a group you haven’t heard of before or to a fund that isn’t administered by a reliable source, please check out the list of legitimate charities on Charity Navigator or GuideStar to make sure that you’re not getting scammed.

Here’s what we know of at the moment:


Garfield County Relief Fund

This fund, which was set up to assist victims of the Lodgepole Complex fire, the state’s largest wildfire of the year, is a subsidiary of the Central Montana Foundation.

406 Family Aid Foundation

This foundation was created to help families impacted by disaster or crisis in Western Montana. The fund will go directly to evacuees of the Lolo Peak fire.

United Way of Missoula County

The organization has created two funds, for two separate fires blazing in Montana: the first is aimed at victims of the Lolo Peak fire; the second at those of the Seeley Lake/Rice Ridge fire.

GoFundMe: Oregon Wildfire Relief Fund

This fund was created by an individual who recognized that the hurricanes were overshadowing the tragedies in the Northwest. The GoFundMe post for the Oregon Wildfire Relief Fund has a $10,000 goal, with a long way to go — yet no way to really vet how the money will ultimately be spent. The post itself lays out an admirable approach.


American Veterinary Medical Foundation

This is an organization that recognizes the breadth of disasters hitting the U.S. right now. The foundation’s relief page was started as just Harvey donations, but has expanded to Irma and to the wildfires.

Advice from the University of Florida Extension

Opportunities for ag-specific giving are slim so far for Irma, but for those who are in the midst of the crisis, the University of Florida Extension has put together a comprehensive list of resources, including emergency considerations for beef cattle and hurricane preparation for horses and chickens.


State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund

Called the STAR Fund, money from this Texas Department of Agriculture program is used to assist farmers and ranchers in rebuilding fences, restoring operations, and paying for other agricultural disaster relief in the wake of events such as Hurricane Harvey. Visit this page to donate to the fund, and if you’re a farmer or rancher in need, you can apply for STAR Fund assistance here.

Texas Agricultural Education Disaster Relief Fund

Texas FFA has set up a Disaster Relief Page, where people can donate to the Texas Agricultural Education Disaster Relief Fund. This fund helps FFA chapters and agricultural education programs rebuild following natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.

Texas Farm Bureau Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Texas Farm Bureau’s relief fund is sending 100 percent of donations to farmers and ranchers. The organization also has supply point locations listed on its page and is updating it new locations are established.

Alltech’s Hope After Harvey Relief Fund

Alltech is donating $20,000 to kick off the relief fund and will then match all donations made to its 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Alltech ACE Foundation.

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