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KFB, USDA Offer Information to Assist Farmers Affected by Wildfires

Kansas Wildfire ReliefRanchers continue to recover from wildfires that began March 6 and swept through an estimated 1.5 million acres in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado.

The outpouring of those wanting to help has been tremendous and Kansas Farm Bureau continues to work connecting those who need help with those who can provide it.

"Phone calls and emails continue to roll in from across the nation," Nancy Brown, fire relief coordinator for Kansas Farm Bureau, said. "As we saw from last year's Anderson Creek Fire, the farming community never fails when it comes to rallying around their friends in need."

Clark County Farm Bureau is donating $20,000 to ranchers impacted in the county.

"There's a lot of hurting families," Bruce McKissick, Clark County Farm Bureau board president, said. "We decided to give money to those who need help."

McKissick said they will also provide money to area fire departments who helped battle the fires and will buy fence supplies.

"We're not done," McKissick said.

Those who were impacted by the fires are encouraged to share what they need help with via the web page www.kfb.org/firerelief.

"We have many people wanting to help however they can," Brown said. "We know it's not easy to ask for help, but I can't reiterate how important it is to know what's needed. We have many offers of labor and time."

For those wanting to donate money, Kansas Farm Bureau encourages people to contact the Kansas Livestock Association at 785-273-5115. Checks can be mailed to the Kansas Livestock Foundation at 6031 SW 37th St., Topeka, KS 66614. "Fire relief fund" should be written in the memo line.

Cash donations can be made through the Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF), KLA's charitable arm, by going to www.kla.org/donationform.aspx.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers and ranchers affected by the recent wildfires that disaster assistance programs are available to support their recovery efforts.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) can assist farmers and ranchers who lost livestock, grazing land, fences or eligible trees, bushes and vines as a result of a natural disaster. FSA administers a suite of safety-net programs to help producers recover from eligible losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, and the Tree Assistance Program. Detailed information on all of these disaster assistance programs can be found online at: www.fsa.usda.gov/disaster.

In addition, the FSA Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters. Producers located in counties that receive a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. Compensation is also available to producers who purchased coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which protects non-insurable crops (including native grass for grazing) against natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses or prevented planting.

For more information on FSA disaster assistance programs, please contact your local USDA Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Center go to http://offices.usda.gov.

(Information courtesy Kansas Farm Bureau and U.S. Department of Agriculture.)

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