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Help organizes for wildfire-affected farmers

By Staff | Mar 23, 2017

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey highlighted on Monday 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,” Northey said. “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.”

On March 17, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation to allow the transportation of over-sized and over-weight 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.

Also, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Dream Dirt 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. April 7. To bid or add items to the auction is open to all.

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association is accepting cash donations. 100 percent of donations and auction proceeds will be distributed to the affected states.

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