Devastating spring wildfires in our part of the country left a wide path of grim destruction and death. Relentless high winds accelerated the savage fast moving flames in four states. Western Kansas sadly recorded a loss of 650,000 acres.
Dozens of ranchers and farmers lost their homes, out buildings and livestock along with vast miles of fence that will all take a long time to replace.
The efforts of countless firemen, volunteers, families and friends eventually brought the horrific wildfires under control. The barren land smoldered as thoughts began to formulate in the hearts and minds of many. …. How were they going to help?
The answer came for us the following week in Kansas at the Manhattan Commission Company, Inc. A fellow rancher brought a heifer to the auction and offered to donate proceeds from her sale to the wildfire relief fund thorough the Kansas Livestock Association. The top bidder put the heifer back up for sale on the block, also donating her proceeds to the fund. Bill saw his chance to do his part--- He acquired the next high bid which he donated to the relief fund and then sent the heifer right back to be auctioned off again.
The momentum accelerated immediately among the cattlemen as the heifer sold over and over. Bill said over $25,000 was raised in less than half an hour! After the news of that days good deed spread, other cattleman have duplicated the idea and contributions to help continue to pour in.
Recovery will be slow for those who suffered major loss in the devastating spring 2017 wildfires…. However, the resilient spirit of our ranchers and remains forever strong.