Ohio farmers sending help to Kansas ranches hit by wildfires

BUCYRUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio farmers are sending hay, fencing materials and other supplies to Kansas to help ranches that were devastated by wildfires this month.

Rose Hartschuh, who runs a dairy farm with her husband near Bucyrus, Ohio, helped coordinate the assistance from farmers and agricultural businesses. Though the fires were 1,000 miles away, the devastation hit home for the agricultural community and people have stepped up to help, she said.

“Thousands of cattle have died in this. A lot of momma cows, there are a lot of orphaned calves out there, people are taking them to their farms and feeding helping get them going also,” Hartschuh told the Telegraph-Forum in Bucyrus.

Ohio has a large supply of hay that can help the ranchers recover and feed their animals for several months as the grass starts regenerates, she said.

“Most of the cows they are running in Kansas are on range land and the wildfires have pretty much burned up any source of feed they have,” Hartschuh said.

They plan to travel to Kansas on Friday with roughly 30 truckloads of supplies and dozens of volunteers. Some will stay in Kansas for a few days to help clear debris, rebuild fences and help with other cleanup work.

There’s also a growing interest on social media about donations. The farmers hope to also collect cash and gift cards for the struggling ranchers.

People from about half of Ohio’s 88 counties have offered some sort of assistance in the effort, Hartschuh told WCMH-TV.

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