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Fellow Kan. ag producers kicking in donations for farmers, ranchers impacted by wildfires

Farmers and ranchers still need help after losing their homes and cattle in last week's fire. Now, they're preparing for another potential threat.
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 5:55 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wildlife recovery efforts are continuing in north central Kansas as farmers and ranchers still need all the help they can get after losing homes and cattle to last week’s widespread wildfires. The “Four County Fire” impacted ag producers in Ellis, Russell, Rooks and Osborne counties.

The most pressing needs are supplies and feed for farmers and ranchers to get their operations back up and running.

“Farmers and ranchers out here are going to need some assistance in feeding their livestock, se we started sourcing hay across several states,” said Farm Rescue Development Officer Lynne Hinrichsen, overseeing Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.

At Russell Livestock hay is being collected and store for Farm Rescue to then haul to those in need.

“We’ve never had quite a disaster like this, so we were happy, happy to be a depot for hay for the surrounding ranchers and farmers,” Russell Livestock Owner Crecia Reeves said.

More than $1,200 collected by Russell Livestock is being dispersed to those impacted by “The Four County Fire.” Reeves said there has been no hesitation when it comes to people wanting to lend a helping hand.

“There [are] people who want to donate money, there [are] people that want to donate food, there [are] people wo want to donate hay,” Reeves said.

Larz Elliott, of Oakley, is among several rural Kansans stepping up for fellow ag producers impacted by the recent wildfires.

“I’ve got lots of friends around Paradise and Natoma and they need the help,” Elliott said. “It’s (the) holidays, that’s what we do. It’s time to give and (I am) trying to help as much as I can.”

On Thursday, one load of hay Elliott donated was headed to a farmer just north of Paradise, in Russell County. Elliott said he doesn’t know who he’s helping but that doesn’t matter to him.

“Yep, if somebody hollers at me and says, ‘hey, I need the shirt off your back today, they’re going to get it,” Elliott said.

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