Iowa Cattle Producers Rally To Help Plains Wildfire Recovery

Mar 20, 2017

Iowa cattle producers are gathering donations of cash, feed and supplies to help farmers and ranchers in four states who’ve fallen victim to wildfires in the past two weeks.

Iowa Cattlemen’s Association president Matt Deppe says the fires killed seven people. They also wiped out thousands of cattle and burned an estimated two million acres of pastureland in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

“What we’ve been doing is keeping in touch with our sister organizations and getting a true sense of 'do you need hay or fence posts, or do you need cash for those longer term needs,'” Deppe said.

Deppe says there will be an online auction April 7th with all proceeds going to producers in those four states.   The relief effort is aimed at helping replenish hay for the surviving cattle and provide such things as milk replacer for orphan calves.

Deppe says members are eager to help.

“If something like that happened in Iowa or in the upper Midwest, I can sure tell you and guarantee you that we’d see that kind of support to our producers as well,” he said.

On Friday, Governor Branstad issued a disaster proclamation lifting weight and size restrictions on trucks moving through Iowa carrying loads of hay and other donations to Western and Southern states.