After last week’s devastating wildfires that consumed more than 650,000 acres of rural Kansas, Cargill’s Wichita-based protein business is donating $50,000 in new fencing materials to ranchers in the Ashland area of Western Kansas.
Estimates indicate that up to 100,000 miles of ranch fencing was destroyed in Kansas, with additional fencing destroyed in Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma wildfires.
“We know there are a lot of cattle producers that lost herds, buildings, fences, and grazing land, and it’s their hard work that helps us produce beef enjoyed by Americans and people around the world,” stated Casey Mabry, strategic supply manager in Cargill’s cattle procurement team, in a recent release. “When we contacted the Kansas Livestock Association, they told us what was needed more than anything is fencing materials to rebuild what was lost to fire. We knew time was of the essence and that we needed to help as much as we could, as quickly as possible.”
Christina Taylor, associate brand manager in Cargill’s beef marketing team, first proposed helping ranchers late last week after seeing heartbreaking news coverage of the losses. The Cargill Wichita team purchased two semi-tractor-trailer loads of fencing materials from a supplier in Chanute, Kansas for delivery Tuesday to relief efforts in the Ashland area. From Ashland, fencing materials will be distributed to local ranchers.
“In Dodge City, Kansas, we have a large beef processing facility that employs 2,400 Kansans and harvests cattle from some of the ranchers impacted by last week’s fires,” stated Taylor. “Helping those who are part of our beef supply chain is the right thing to do – it’s part of our DNA at Cargill and it’s gratifying to know we could help those who lost so much rebuild their lives.”
Additionally, Cargill’s team in Dodge City is providing support to two beef processing plant employees who lost their homes and all of their belongings to nearby wildfires.