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Relief efforts continue to help farmers and ranchers impacted by wildfires

An Oklahoma cattleman says donations of all kinds have been pouring in from across the country to help farmers and ranchers affected by the wildfires in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Tom Fanning of May, Oklahoma, is the Northwest District Vice President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.  “Yesterday, Andy Brock from Indiana drove two loads of hay down,” he says.  “He was home from college on Spring Break. I told him this is not Padre Island for Fort Meyers, Florida and you chose to come do something for someone and help serve others.  It’s just a great effort.”  Fanning says those who have donated have been amazing.  “Yesterday I met a girl from Maryland, a young man from Indiana, and had kids from all over the place – from Canada – wanting to come down and work,” he says.

He tells Brownfield hay donations have been arriving non-stop since the wildfires began and have gone out as quickly as they have been received.  “I know at one drop-off site there were at least 25-30 semi-loads of hay that’s been brought in,” he says.  “Yesterday evening there were just two loads of hay left at the site.”

AUDIO: Tom Fanning, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association

Matt Schaller  is a truck driver from Michigan and is coordinating a hay drive to help ranchers in affected areas.  He tells Brownfield they’ve been working with Texas and Kansas and expect seven semis to make a delivery of hay and other needed materials this weekend.  “It’s just something that you want to do for your neighbor and I know that when you have the ability to help somebody I’ve always been taught you want to do that,” he says.  “Because you never know when you’re going to be the one in need of help.”

AUDIO: Matt Schaller, Michigan

A number of relief efforts are underway across Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma – links to more information are found below.

Brownfield’s Nicole Heslip also contributed to this story.

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