Area farmers join forces to help in Kansas after fires

Residents head west, donate hay, supplies to those affected

Several local farmers are making a 1,600-mile round trip to Kansas this weekend to take hay, fencing and other supplies to help farmers in need.

Wildfires have devastated more than 650,000 acres of pasture and range land in Kansas. Area farmers have collected enough hay and supplies to fill four trailers.

“We are trying to do the right thing,” Franklin farmer John Canary said. “These people need help, and we have the ability to help them.”

The response from farmers in Indiana and throughout the country shows the agriculture community stands together, he said.

Shelby County farmers Phil and Cindy Ramsey donated about 20 tons of hay. Canary, and fellow farmers Andy Duckworth, who is the Johnson County Farm Bureau president, and Tyler Sneed and Justin Kaiser, also of Johnson County, will drive four trailers of hay to Ashland, Kansas, to support their fellow farmers, a Indiana Farm Bureau news release said.

With the wildfires having burned up much of the grassland where cattle feed, hay is a much needed commodity, Canary said.

“They don’t have time to wait,” he said. “Cows, livestock, they have to eat now, and it takes a lot of feed to feed cattle like that.”

Besides hay, some of the other supplies they are taking include fencing, grain and milk replacement, which is a necessity for calves that have lost their mothers, Canary said.

Canary left Friday afternoon, and hopes to be back by Monday morning.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.