Wildfires devastate farm and ranch land in plains states - here's how you can help

Blog Post created by michelesteinberg Employee on Mar 22, 2017

The past few weeks have seen very large, fast-moving wildfires wreak havoc across the US, including Florida, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. Particularly hard hit were rural regions in the Texas Panhandle, southern Kansas, and northern Oklahoma along with eastern Colorado. Fires continue to ignite in very dry, windy conditions in these and other areas across the central and southeast U.S. 

A New York Times story this week headlined with ranchers calling the fires "our Katrina," in reference to the devastating hurricane of 2005 that impacted multiple states. In addition to fire losses to structures and infrastructures, these recent wildfires have resulted in the deaths of seven people and innumerable livestock deaths and injuries. The heartrending stories remind us that the natural phenomenon of wildfire becomes a true disaster when it destroys not only property but takes lives and livelihoods. What many of the impacted families need now is financial support to replace and repair thousands of miles of fencing and to purchase and deliver hay. 

Julie Griffin with the Agribusiness Management Department at Central Tech in Oklahoma includes wildfire safety in her outreach to agricultural businesses and verified the following trustworthy entities where cash donations may be made to support those who need your help to get back on their feet after this devastating loss.


Where to donate:

Kansas - Kansas Livestock Association is organizing hay and fencing material donations for delivery to affected areas in Kansas. To make in-kind donations, call KLA at (785) 273-5115. Cash donations can be made through the Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF), KLA's charitable arm, by going to http://www.kla.org/donationform.aspx.

Colorado - There is an immediate need for hay, feed, fencing supplies, individuals willing to provide trucking, etc. for the farmers and ranchers devastated by recent fires. Donations should be taken to CHS Grainland in Haxtun. A loader and scale are both available, if needed. Contact Rick Unrein 970-520-3565 for more information about dropping off donations. Donations can also be dropped off at Justin Price's farm (11222 CR 7 Sedgwick, CO). For more information, please contact: Kent Kokes 970-580-8108, John Michal 970-522-2330, or Justin Price 970-580-6315.

Oklahoma - If you would like to donate to this relief effort, you can do so by mail or online. Make checks payable to Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation and put "Fire Relief" in the memo line and send to P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148. To donate online, visit http://www.okcattlemen.org. If you would like to donate hay or trucking services for hay, you can do so by contacting either the Harper County Extension Office at 580-735-2252 or Buffalo Feeders at 580-727-5530 to make arrangements or provide trucking services.

Texas - Multiple fires in the Texas Panhandle have burned more than 400,000 acres. As part of a coordinated response with multiple state agencies and emergency managers, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is soliciting hay donations. Two supply points have been established to collect donated hay. Each has been listed below. If you have hay that you can donate and transport to either supply point, please contact the location directly prior to transportation.

Supply Point 1 

202 West Main

Lipscomb, TX

Contact: J.R. Spragg

Office: 806-862-4601


Supply Point 2

301 Ball Park Drive

Pampa, TX

Contact: Mike Jeffcoat

Office: 806-669-8033


Image from USAToday, "U.S. sees furious start to the wildfire season," by Doyle Rice.