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Local farmers rally to help Oklahoma

HILLSDALE COUNTY, MI -- Michigan farmers are rallying to collect vital supplies for fellow farmers affected by wildfires in Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

“We need help getting people aware of what’s going on,” Guy Rodgers, a local farmer said. “We have semi companies lined up ready to take supplies out west.”

Rodgers has joined with other area farmers from Hillsdale, Branch, and Lenawee Counties in Michigan, Steuben County, Indiana, and Williams County, Ohio to begin collecting much needed supplies to help their fellow farmers out.

“The fires have devastated hundreds of thousands of acres of land out west,” Rodgers said. “Farmers are driving around euthanizing cattle injured in the fires.”

Rodgers has joined forces with the Facebook page “Fire family helpers” set up by Ashley Westfall, of Westfall Trucking in Montgomery, to make local donations possible.

The local group is hopeful to set up collection points throughout southern Michigan where those wishing to donate can drop off hay, fence posts, fencing, calf milk bottles, fencing tools, sweet feed, and other various donations.

Once collected, the supplies would be loaded into semis, and convoyed from Michigan to Ashland, Kansas.

Those wishing to donate supplies or offer a location for a collection point are being asked to message Westfall’s Facebook page or call 517-227-4079.

Emergency management personnel monitoring the wildfires destruction estimate one million acres of land have been destroyed, 1,500 cattle have been killed, and four persons have died in the fires.

The fires started Monday, March 6 during a wind event in Oklahoma and Kansas and quickly spread to neighboring Texas and Colorado.

The area surrounding Ashland, Kansas was completely devastated by the fires.

The Oklahoma Forestry Service estimated March 20 that the fires are 95 percent contained.