Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation has established an agricultural disaster fund for those in need, but help is needed now for those victimized by the recent fire near Yuma and the eastern state.
The Foundation has activated a fund to help those in agriculture devastated by the destructive fire on March 18.
Farmers and ranchers lost miles of fencing, hay and grass and they are in need of a helping hand.
Area ranchers Jeremy and Nikki Weathers report hay stacks on fire owned by neighbors but which was a source of feed for the Weathers' livestock. They found a newborn calf lost in the smoke, eventually reuniting it with its mother.
About 300 head of cattle ended up sharing a single water tank out of the fire zone, report Nikki. "Our neighbor was covered in smoke and ash after trying to fix fences they cut to move cows to our grass," she says.
The fire endangered humans, livestock, structures and homes and has left a swath of destruction, reports the Colorado Department of Agriculture. While it was 100% contained by the middle of last week, it had burned 24,000 acres or 38 square miles. Two homes were a total loss due to the flames.
Donations will be distributed to those farmers and ranchers affected by the destruction. You may make a tax-deductible contribution at http://coloradofarmbureau.com/yuma-fire-donate-now/.
At the benefit last Saturday, $10 donations were taken at the door to supplement the drive for assistance.
All money goes to the CFB Foundation, a non-profit charity, which in the past has helped farmers and ranchers in disasters such as blizzards, floods and wildfires. The fund was established to help producers in southwest Colorado following the devastating blizzards of 2007.
Colorado State University has responded to the crisis by issuing a special bulletin to the press for experts that may be contacted to report on the impact of the fire. Look for an article in the May issue of Western Farmer-Stockman, which may be viewed on line by clicking on "Magazine Online" www.westernfarmerstockman.com.