Over the past two weeks, as cattlemen across Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas fell victim to wildfires, there has been an overwhelming desire among Iowa cattlemen to help. In response, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation are partnering with DreamDirt Farm and Ranch Real Estate on an online auction fundraiser.
The most immediate need has been for hay to feed the surviving cattle. Many Iowans have stepped up and donated hay already, and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association is helping facilitate these donations, matching donations with transportation. Governor Branstad today issued a disaster proclamation lifting restrictions on oversize and overweight loads of forage throughout the state of Iowa, to help facilitate these donations.
“Our cattlemen across the state are eager to help brethren cattlemen and women recover from these devastating fires,” says Matt Deppe, CEO of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. “We are grateful for the governor’s support of our relief efforts.”
While forage donations continue to come in, additional needs continue to surface for those affected. Milk replacer for orphan calves, fencing materials, and seed to re-establish pasture are merely a few examples. But as the needs grow diverse throughout the recovery process, cash donations will be important to those affected.
Many county cattlemen’s associations and individual ICA members have already begun to organize generous relief efforts. The online auction idea was a result of the same desire to help felt by many in Iowa’s cattle industry.
“We couldn’t stand by and not do something. We know how to raise money and the idea of an online auction quickly made its rounds in our office. We approached the good folks at the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association with our idea to give Midwesterners a way to donate to the relief efforts and they were on board from the first contact and have worked with us for days to get this up and running,” says Jason Smith, DreamDirt.
The Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation, a 503(c) nonprofit organization, will coordinate the donations and auction proceeds, with 100% of the funds going to help the affected ranchers. Parties interested in donating items to the auction or taking part in the auction should visit www.iacattlemen.org for more information.