March 30, 2016
MANHATTAN -- On March 29, representatives from Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Livestock Association, K-State Research and Extension and Kansas Department of Agriculture traveled to the area impacted by the wildfire in Barber and Comanche counties. Adrian Polansky, State FSA Director and Rebecca Davis, State RMA Director, were also present. The group toured a portion of the impacted area and held a meeting with local producers and agencies in Medicine Lodge.
Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts facilitated the meeting with Barber County Farm Bureau president and local rancher Dennis Ricke.
“We’ve come here together today to see how we can help you and what your needs are,” Felts said. “We want to maximize the assistance, aid and benefits for those who have suffered this tremendous loss of property, livestock, fencing and hay.”
Nearly 30 stockman, fire fighters, city and county employees and other interested parties attended the information sharing and gathering event.
“We understand that producers are the ones hit the hardest and the road to recovery will be long and difficult,” Felts said. “Everyone here is committed to helping those impacted by the wildfire and seeing this through.”
Kansas Farm Bureau has launched a fire relief website to connect those willing to donate supplies or offer labor. The site is: www.kfb.org/firerelief
Kansas Livestock Association continues to coordinate hay donation efforts. Short term needs for hay have been met. Medium and long-term demands for hay are not yet known. Arrangements for the Kansas Department of Transportation to assist in hay transport are also being explored.
Kansas Department of Agriculture is building a website to compile information from multiple sources on available programs and initiatives to attempt to provide a central point of information.
Farm Service Agency programs for loss of livestock, fencing and stockpiled hay include: Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP).
Document all losses and the specifics and work through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin the necessary paperwork for these programs.