Tuesday, September 26, 2023
HomeNotes From KathyHow to Help Farmers and Ranchers Hit by Fires and Flooding

How to Help Farmers and Ranchers Hit by Fires and Flooding

This summer hasn’t been a great one for farmers and ranchers across the country.  Fires cover almost a million acres in Montana alone, and hurricanes and flooding have hit Texas and Florida hard. People have been pitching in to help, like the police and cowboys driving cattle through the middle of the town of Dayton, Texas to get to higher ground, and helicopter pilots herding cattle to safety.

Ryan Ashcraft and another pilot driving cattle to safer ground near Damon, Tex. Credit Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Texas ranchers and officials have set up supply points across Texas to provide free hay and fresh water for cattle. To help his fellow Montana ranchers, Jesse Bendel harvested 80 acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land and donated the hay to feed cattle that have nothing left to eat, and many more neighbors have joined in to help.

Round hay bales reduced to ash, lost in the Lodgepole Complex Fire that burned 270,000 acres in Garfield and Petroleum Counties. (Photo: RION SANDERS, TRIBUNE PHOTO/RION SANDERS) Click to see the full article and a video of the ranchers describing the fire.

Jesse did what he did for reasons we’re sure you understand. “Agriculture is a small community,” he told the Great Falls Tribune. “They are all our brothers. When they’re struggling and we’re doing decent, it tugs at your heart strings. It makes you feel like you want to do something.”

If you’d like to help your fellow producers but don’t know quite how, AgDaily has compiled a list of organizations that includes a lot of farmer-focused support. If you are a farmer or rancher facing these challenges, we are here thinking of you, and sending all the hope and support we can.

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Vothhttps://onpasture.com
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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