Local businesses aid wildfire relief in Kansas

Published 12:08 pm Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Southern States Cooperative in Winchester teamed with local businesses to provide assistance to the ranchers of Clark County, Kansas, in the aftermath of the wildfires that torched through roughly 85 percent of the county’s land.

The farm supply retailer, along with the local Kentucky Cattleman’s Association and Albany-based Bluegrass Stockyards, reached out to their customers via social media asking for donations.

The community answered in a big way.

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Through community donations, the businesses were able to raise $22,000 to aid the relief. The funds were used to send a large flatbed truck stocked full of fencing and gates to Clark County, nearly 1,000 miles away.

“I reached out to a cattle industry contact in Clark County when I heard the news to see how we could help,” Southern States store manager Randy Johnson said. “They said they had been getting hay donations but were in need of fencing.”

Locally-owned and operated Running J Corriente carrier service volunteered to make the 14-hour trip to drop off the supplies.

“Things like this show just how good people really are,” said Southern States spokesperson Chris Carter. “The local community came together in a big way and it’s just been incredible to see and be a part of.”

According to Greg Gardiner of Gardiner Angus Ranch in Kansas, 430,000 of the 625,000 acres of land in Clark County has been burned by the wildfires.

The supplies will help farmers rebuild their cattle operations.

If you would like to contribute in the relief efforts, visit www.ashlandcf.com or contact the Winchester Southern States store at 744-3313.

Southern States Cooperative is a Richmond, Virginia-based farm supply retailer and service cooperative. As one of the nation’s largest agricultural cooperatives, it provides a wide range of farm inputs, including fertilizer, seed, livestock feed, pet food, animal health supplies, and petroleum products, as well as other items for the farm and home.

For more information, visit www.southernstates.com.