Cattlemen team up up to help others devasted by wildfires

Mon 3-20-2017 Des Moines, IA

(Des Moines)-Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on Monday highlighted opportunities for Iowans to support farmers and ranchers who have been impacted by wildfires in Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Tragically, seven people have died and officials have estimated that thousands of cattle have been killed by the fires. More than 2,300 square miles, much of it agricultural land used for cow/calf production, has burned. “The pictures and stories of the devastation from the wildfires are heartbreaking. But, hearing about the outpouring of support and donations, from Iowa and across the nation, is overwhelming. I know some groups have already organized donations of hay and other supplies, but I do hear from folks who are interested in helping but are unsure of the best way. Fortunately, there are a number of opportunities for those who are interested to help the farmers that have been impacted by the fires,” Northey said.

Last Friday, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed a proclamation to allow the transportation of oversize and overweight loads of forage through Iowa. The proclamation is intended to aid cattle producers in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, where wildfires have caused a shortage of forage. The proclamation will remain in effect until May 16, 2017.

Also, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Dream Dirt have announced they are partnering on an online auction to raise funds for victims of the recent wildfires. The online auction will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 7.

For information about the auction and how to donate click here.  

Locally, the Dickinson County Cattlemen are organizing a Relief Fund, with tax-deductible donated funds to be used to transport hay, buy fencing supplies and feed.

The Dickinson Cattlemen's Association will match funds donated up to $1000.

Funds may be submitted to the "Wildfire Relief Fund" at any Northwest Bank location by April 1.