Wildfires: Relief pours in for farming communities


Since last week’s wildfires in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado, the ag community has rallied to send support and supplies.

According to Scarlett Hagins, Communications Program Manager, Kansas Livestock Assocation, the Kansas Livestock Foundation has had an overwhelming response  with hay donations, milk replacer for calves, and other resources. The current need right now is fencing supplies.

“As far as monetary donations to the Kansas Livestock Foundation for wildfire relief, we were at around $75,000 at the end of last week. However, donations are still coming in at a rapid pace so I know that number is out of date,” Hagins said. “We are working to process what came in over the weekend and what is coming in today. We will distribute 100% of the funds to the Kansas ranchers affected by the wildfire.”

Chancey Hanson, Director of Communications, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association said as of this morning the organization has received $20,174 for the fire relief fund through the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation.

In Colorado, donations have been streaming in online.

“Our disaster relief fund should end up with at least $30,000 after this week,” said Shawn Martini, Vice President of Advocacy, Colorado Farm Bureau. “The majority of which have come from small donors online ”

In Hemphill County, Texas over 2,000 round bales of hay have been donated — in addition to more than $30,000 in fencing supplies, and over five loads of cattle cubes.

“The financial support is just coming in, but I am expecting based on pledges of $50,000+,” said Andrew S. Holloway, Hemphill County Extension Agent ANR, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

The wildfire relief donations hasn’t been limited to the Farm Bureaus and Livestock Associations. Several grass root efforts have also contributed to the cause.

The Kansas State University Sigma Alpha has raised $8,900 thus far selling  t-shirts with the slogan: “Praying for the Plains” on the front and on the back the words, “God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God made a rancher.”

The High Plains Veterinary Service has had several drug companies offer to supply medications free of charge. Livingston Machinery Company in Fairview, Oklahoma collected more than 500 bales of donated hay so far. The company is delivering the product directly to farmers and ranchers affected by the wildfires.

The community of Pearl, Texas donated over 20 tons of feed and nearly one thousand bales of hay to Beaver County Oklahoma. Organized by the McCabe family, at least seven semi-trucks have also been donated to help deliver the supplies.



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