Field of TEAMS Swarm Wheat Fields to Clear Out Debris in Advance of HarvestMon, 10 Jun 2013 06:13:34 CDT
Field of TEAMS is a volunteer "farmer organized" effort to clean up the ripe and ready winter wheat fields in southern and eastern Canadian County that saw debris drop in, courtesy of the EF5 tornado that ripped through that county in central Oklahoma on May 31st.
The effort is being coordinated by a pair of farm wives- Levi Clifton and Jennifer Freeman. Clifton told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays that while her farmstead was missed- she lives in Cogar and was several miles west of the wide swath of land that the tornado hit- she could quickly see the devastation the next morning as she drove in and around Union City. She approached a couple of the farmers with impacted fields- and they really had not thought about how they were going to clean up the amount of debris on so many acres dead ahead of the 2013 harvest.
She estimates that there are more than 10,000 acres of wheat land that may at least some debris that could puncture a combine or tractor tire- or worse- get into a combine and cause massive damage to a $400,000 machine.
Realizing the urgency, Clifton said that was the start of Field of TEAMS. They have recruited volunteers intially on FACEBOOK and have picked up the support of the American Farmers and Ranchers- Oklahoma Farmers Union who will be coordinating a day of picking up debris on Tuesday, June 11- this is cooperation with the El Reno FFA. Any and all volunteers are welcome to show up Tuesday morning at 8:30 AM at the Heaston Community Church south of El Reno to pick up debris. We have a flyer that details the Tuesday pick up plan- click on the PDF file link on the bottom of this story for those details.
Clifton tells us that she also has a group organized and coming in Thursday morning, June 13 to Union City- and still has thousands of acres to clean up- and can use any and all volunteers any day this week. Call Levi Clifton at 405-301-1626 and she will coordiate a time for you to come and be a part of this clean up effort.
We spent some time in the fields, picking up debris, on Saturday. And we also talked to Levi Clifton about this effort and the race to get it done in time to have a crop to harvest in these fields in 2013. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear our conversation in rather windy conditions as we talked in that wheat field we were working in along US 81.
We also have a bunch of pictures from Saturday on our FLICKR page- click here to check those out.
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