The Fire is Out- But Tom Fanning Continues to Lead Wildfire Relief Efforts in Northwest OklahomaWed, 22 Mar 2017 06:14:25 CDT
Tom Fanning has been at ground zero in northwest Oklahoma for the wildfires that have burned over 300,000 acres in Oklahoma, a similar amount in the Texas Panhandle and more than that in southwest Kansas. The owner/operator of Buffalo Feeders has an enormous amount of time since March 6th in organizing relief efforts for his fellow cattle producers- and that effort continues.
At the Wildfire Relief Meeting held Monday at the Harper County Fairgrounds, Fanning talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about where the relief efforts
currently stand- and what is next.
Fanning says that "We've had lots of hay come in- I think we are over the emergency of getting the cattle tomorrow, the next day and next week. Now we're looking forward to getting the fences rebuilt and restoring the financial wellbeing of our ranchers." Fanning says that while the immediate need of feeding cattle has been met, he and others are working with livestock and feed companies to figure out a low cost program to drylot beef cow herds until green grass comes on mid spring. He adds that the need for hay is not over and donations of hay continue to be very much appreciated.
Fanning also says that there are a lot of people outside of the region that want to come and help repair and rebuild fences on the acres burned out. He says that he is taking calls daily from college groups wanting to come during their spring break and help- and church groups wanting to come to northwest Oklahoma and help as well. "We have Christian groups from as far as Florida and California wanting to come and help. We're trying to set up camp sites with local churches that have church camps so they can house those folks."
Fanning says the challenge is to match up groups with ranchers who have a need and the materials to make repairs or build fence to take full adavantage of the volunteer influx.
He adds that if people want to help with fencing materials- they can go on the Oklahoma Cattlemen's website by clicking here and make contact with folks who can help take those materials that will help get them out to ranches that need them- the website also has a link to donate cash to the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation which is accepting those donations and working to turn those monies around quickly to ranchers who are working to recover from wildfires that burned so quickly starting the evening of March 6th.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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