Wildfire relief efforts raise $400,000 to help affected ranchers

Thanks to an outpouring of support, more than $400,000 has been raised for Kansas and Oklahoma wildfire relief funds, which is an amount of money even greater than the staggering number of acres burned in the March wildfire.

By the time the flames were extinguished, the Anderson Creek Fire burned 367,630 acres across Oklahoma and Kansas in late March. To help cattle producers in need, the Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF) and Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation (OCF) established relief funds.

Today, just a month or so later, the efforts have raised more than $400,000 to help affected cattlemen.

As of April 25, KLF has received $367,103 with contributions coming from 77 counties in Kansas and 20 states. Progressive cattle auctions held across Kansas helped raise funds along with large donations came from Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and CoBank. Many individuals donated to the cause, along with donations received from Sunday school classes and 4-H clubs, says Todd Domer, vice president of communications for Kansas Livestock Association (KLA).

"Every dollar donated to KLF will be used to help offset the cost of fencing supplies, the treatment of cattle injured in the fire and other priority needs identified by local KLA leadership in Comanche and Barber counties," Domer says.

In Oklahoma, more than $35,000 was donated to OCF for fire relief with funds coming from as far away as Arizona and California. Oklahoma businesses also have donated vouchers for fence repair and supplies, says Jeff Jaronek, OCF coordinator.

Both KLF and OCF are still accepting donations to aid producers affected by the Anderson Creek Fire and other large fires in the states.

Checks can be sent to the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation via P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148. Make checks payable to the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation and write "Fire Relief" in the memo line.

Tax-deductible checks also can be made to the Kansas Livestock Foundation, with "Disaster Relief" in the memo line. Please send those donations to Kansas Livestock Foundation, 6031 S.W. 37th, Topeka, KS 66614.

In addition, donations can be sent online to the

Kansas Livestock Foundation

and the

Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation.