Since the devastating wildfires in northwest Oklahoma, help has poured in for the farmers and ranchers who lost so much. The need right now, is to keep the cattle they do have left alive.
Livingston Machinery Company is just one of many organizations stepping up to help. However, the retired owner is going the extra mile to make sure they get the aid.
“I was fortunate enough to be blessed that I had a good hay year,” said Earl Livingston with Livingston Machinery near Ft. Cobb.
Livingston pulled into his farm on Sunday afternoon, his load was a little lighter. He had just returned from an eight-hour drive to deliver his extra hay to farmers and ranchers affected by last week’s wildfires. It was his second trip just this weekend. He said he was sickened by what he saw.
“It’s a war zone,” he said. “They’ve moved a lot of the dead cattle but we saw a few dead cattle and it’s just black, nothing growing, nothing green.”
The farmer he delivered to on Sunday lost 35 cows, about 20 calves, his pastures, fences and two hay barns full of hay. Now, he’s trying to save his surviving cattle.
“As soon as I got there, he had tears in his eyes,” Livingston said. “We got the hay unloaded and he came over and hugged me and thanked me. It was touching.”
The company has collected more than 500 bales of donated hay, so they plan to take their 10 rigs and convoy the hay all at once on Wednesday. He said he couldn’t have done it without all the people willing to step up and donate.
“There’s a lot of good people in this world. Several people in several counties are calling and offering hay,” he said. “That’s a catastrophic thing to happen in your life so these people need all the help we can give them.”
Livingston Machinery Company in Fairview, Oklahoma, is currently accepting hay donations to be collected and delivered directly to farmers and ranchers affected by recent wildfires. Donations may be dropped off during business hours on the North Lot at 2005 North Main Street in Fairview.
The Harper County Extension office is also facilitating donations. If you wish to donate hay, the use of your truck, fuel or other in-kind donations to this effort, call the office, Buffalo Feeders at (580) 727-5530 or Western Equipment at (580) 254-0080 to make arrangements.
Here’s a link to those drop off sites: http://www.okfarmbureau.org/index.php?action=news.newsdetail&rowid=865.
If you would like to make a monetary donation, OKFB is guiding Oklahomans to the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation Relief Fund. Donations can be made online at www.okcattlemen.org or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148. Checks can be made to Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation with “Fire Relief” in the memo.
If you have been affected by the fires and need hay for your livestock, call the Oklahoma State University Harper County Extension office at (580) 735-2252.