DUNCAN, OK (TNN) - A Stephens County man is stepping up to help out farmers and ranchers in Nebraska after flooding caused more than $1 billion in damage in March.
Kevin Kelly has already collected and shipped nearly 100 bales of hay to those in need, thanks to donations from farmers in our area. But he doesn’t want to stop there, saying we need to do whatever we can for those who may have lost everything. Kelly said he knew he needed to do something to help when he saw the devastation in Nebraska.
"Right now, half a million adult cattle are dead, about every calf in 3/4 of the state that was alive before the flood came through is dead. There are more dying every day, now they’re facing things like foot rot and that kind of thing,” Kelly said.
Kelly got right to work collecting donations to take to farmers and ranchers in need. So far, they’ve taken 99 bales of hay but Kelly said there is still work to be done.
"What we’re really looking for is yea, we could use some bales of hay, but in the pavilion here at the fairgrounds I’ve got some totes and they really, really need fence pliers, barb wire, t-posts. If you can imagine your home getting flooded what you’d need, trash bags, buckets, blooms, shovels,” Kelly said.
Kelly said the losses in Nebraska will affect each and every one of us.
"I just don’t know that people realize Nebraska is the second largest cattle producing state in the nation next to Texas and the impact this will have on all of us as we go forward. We’re just trying to do our part but there are some farms and ranches that will probably never recover,” Kelly said.
But in times of need, Kelly said everyone needs to stick together.
"Farmers and ranchers are a big family and it doesn’t matter where you’re from. Nebraska was down here helping fight wildfires and sending supplies down when we needed it to Texas during the hurricane. We’re just paying it back,” Kelly said.
Kelly said none of this would be possible without the help of local farmers and ranchers donating the hay, Great Plains Kubota for donating a machine to move the hay, officials at the Stephens County fairgrounds for allowing the fairgrounds to be a drop off point and Orthman Logistics, a trucking company that is delivering all of the hay to Nebraska free of charge.
Kelly said he plans to keep collecting and delivering donations as long as they’re needed. You can find out how to get involved here.