Wildfires Affecting Livestock And Ranchers

Friday, March 10th 2017, 6:36 am
By: Amy Avery

Texas agriculture officials are struggling to take care of thousands of cattle who got away from the wildfires.

The Texas A&M Ag Extension said they need over 4,000 large round bales of hay to feed displaced cattle over the next two weeks. The nearly 400,000 acres of land burned in Texas is turning the livestock's main source of food into ash. They also need people to shuttle animals and fencing, as most of it was destroyed by wildfires.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association says nearly 1,500 cattle died in the fires. However, nearly 10,000 were able to survive but a lot of them suffered severe burns.

Veterinary doctors in the panhandle say the burns can become infected if they aren't treated properly. Sometimes, they say, it's just more humane to stop the suffering.

Plenty of cattle suffered smoke inhalation, which can cause breathing issues for them.

In Oklahoma, a relief fund has been established by the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) to help Beaver, Ellis, Harper and Woodward County Cattlemen who have been affected by recent wildfires in the area. Donations to the relief effort can be made by mail or online. Checks should be made payable to the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation with “Fire Relief” in the memo line, and can be mailed to P.O. Box 82395 Oklahoma City, OK 73148. Online donations can be made here.

Donations of hay can be made at the following locations:

- Buffalo Feeders at 4 miles east of Buffalo, OK on Highway 64 (Contact: Caleb Nelson (580) 727-1332)

- Tyree Ag on US-283 in Laverne, OK (Contact: Jay Dee Nielsen (580) 334-6819)

- Dale Long, northeast of Gate, OK (Contact: Dale Long (580) 571-1249)

- May Coop Elevator in May, OK (Contact: Tom Fanning (580) 727-5530)

- Buffalo Coop at 322 E Harper in Buffalo, OK (Contact: Beverly Mings (580) 735-2533)

- Western Equipment at 3999 Lakeview Drive in Woodward, OK (Contact: Caleb Zook (580) 254-0080)

For donations of trucking services contact the Harper County Extension Office at (580) 735-2252.