Geronimo family delivers hay to Woodward - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Geronimo family delivers hay to Woodward

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

GERONIMO, OK - A local family is doing their part to help farmers and ranchers in the Oklahoma panhandle following last week's devastating wildfires.

The fires covered more than 1,000 square miles in north-eastern Oklahoma and southern Kansas. Homes were lost, equipment was destroyed, and hundreds of head of cattle were killed. Now, a family in Geronimo is helping farmers keep their remaining cattle alive by donating hay.

If you talk to Robert and Debbie Van Ness, they will tell you they aren't doing anything that other Oklahomans wouldn't do.

"Ranchers help ranchers, farmers help farmers and vice versa,” Robert said. “If it were us, someone would do the same. So it's our turn to do our part."

In fact, Robert said they've been on the other side before and the outpouring of support was overwhelming.

"We lived in West Texas when they had the fires, they came within a mile of our home and we had people from all over the United States, the fire fighters, smoke crews and all that,” Robert said. “So, we know what it's like, we've seen it. We just wanted to do a little bit to help."

So, early this morning they loaded up 20 bales of hay donated by Geronimo residents Danny and Sandy McCuiston before making a 400-mile drive to drop it off. Robert said he knows the people up in Woodward will be very appreciative.

"We talked to a gentleman up at Western Equipment up in Woodward. He was very grateful, very thankful. He said whatever time you get here if it's after hours, regular hours, call us we will come down and unload you. So, they are very appreciative of the help,” Robert said.

But the Van Nesses could run into a fire ant problem. The United States Department of Agriculture put a ban on hay in some parts of southern Oklahoma and north Texas because they don't want fire ants to be imported into the affected areas. However, the Van Nesses said they don't think they'll have any problem.

"This hays been fed off of all Winter and there hasn't been any ant issue with the cattle that we have that are feeding on it,” Debbie said. “So we don't anticipate a problem but we'll deal with it if we come to it."

They encourage anyone that can to also get involved and help out in any way possible.

"They are overwhelmed with all that has happened and any donation or contribution or prayer and just let them know someone is thinking about them even if they can't be there to help,” Debbie said.

Others around the country are also reaching out to those in need. 7NEWS received a picture from Brent Henderson, who drove seven hours from Pleasant Plains, Arkansas to take 38 bales of hay to Woodward.

Spencer Feed and Supply will also transport one ton of animal feed to Woodward on Saturday.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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