Farmers, ranchers step up to help southern neighbors

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Nebraskans are known for helping out their neighbors -- turning out to harvest crops for a family with a death or illness, working cattle, generally being neighborly.

Sometimes there are quite a few miles between them and the neighbors in need.

That's the case with the Anderson Creek Fire, a record-setting blaze that has burned across nearly 400,000 acres of land, destroying fences, livestock, outbuildings and other property in the process. The total burn area covers 574 square miles, and 420 square miles of that was in Barber County, Kansas.

A storm rolling through the area may bring some welcome rain, but the area will be a long time recovering.

Nebraskans are familiar with the need. Some 521,000 acres were burned in Northwest and Northcentral Nebraska in 2012, pulling even Southwest Nebraska firefighters into action.

The Nebraska Cattlemen group is making sure their Oklahoma and Kansas counterparts receive the help they need, sending hay and supplies to Kansas and Oklahoma operations that need it.

Most of us don't have hay or supplies to donate, but cash is always useful.

Donations may be made online or by mail to: Kansas Livestock Foundation, 6031 S.W. 37th, Topeka, KS, 66614 (www.kla.org) and Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation, P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK, 73148 (okcattlemen.org). Checks should be made out to the respective foundation with "Fire Relief Fund" in the memo line.

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