As wildfires are spreading across south-central Nebraska, we are here to help our cattle community by providing you with the most up-to-date resources and ways you can help.

Sandhills Fire Relief Event

Sandhills Fire Relief will be hosting an in-person and online auction to assist ranchers and local fire departments who were impacted by the recent fire. Event Details are as follows.

When: Friday, November 11th, from 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

(Online auction closes at 8:00 p.m.)

Where: Thomas County Fairgrounds Event Center (3361 Highway 83, Thedford, NE)

What: Live in-person auction, online auction, BBQ feed cooked by Slow Poke BBQ, and entertainment will be provided by Borderline Band.

RSVP: Please RSVP by visiting the Sandhills Fire Relief Event Page

Additional Details: All proceeds from the auctions and BBQ feed will go to the affected ranchers and local fire departments. Online auctions items are currently posted on the Sandhills Fire Relief Facebook Page.

To donate items to the in-person or online auction, please contact Dr. Scott Reynolds or Dr. McKenzie Beals at Broken Bow Animal Hospital (308) 872-5281. Please email photos of the items you would like to donate to bowanimal@yahoo.com.

Monetary donations can be sent to the Custer County Foundation at: 

P.O. Box 304

Broken Bow, NE 68822

WILDFIRE RESOURCES

Assistance Available for Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by Wildfire

Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 8, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has funding available to assist agricultural producers whose land was impacted by recent wildfires. Landowners have until May 31, 2023, to apply.

Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding is available to help producers plan and implement conservation practices on farms and ranches impacted by natural disasters. EQIP funding is available to assist in this wildfire recovery effort by planting cover crops on impacted cropland and to defer grazing on rangeland.

“Numerous fires have impacted farmers and ranchers across Nebraska leaving ground vulnerable to erosion,” said Rob Lawson, state conservationist for NRCS. “We can assist landowners with installing conservation practices to help prevent any further damage to their agricultural land and aid in the recovery of rangeland productivity and soil health.”

Lawson encourages landowners whose agricultural operations were impacted by wildfire to visit their local NRCS field office.

“NRCS can help with recovery efforts,” Lawson said. “Our staff works one-on-one with landowners to assess the damage and develop approaches that lead to an effective recovery of the land.”

The application signup for this wildfire assistance is happening now and will run through May 31, 2023. Applications will be assessed, and even though some lands may be eligible for assistance, it is not guaranteed that all acres will receive financial assistance due to limited funding.

Interested landowners and operators should contact their local NRCS office in the USDA Service Center for applications and more information.

Mental Health is crucial in tough times. We are here to help you! We have resources to help you through the good and bad times.

Rural Wellness is here

Rural Hotline is here

Communicating with farmers under stress with Susan Harris, watch here.

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance to Nebraska Farmers and Livestock Producers Impacted by Drought and Wildfires

The following information was released by the United States Department of Agriculture on April 20, 2022.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has technical and financial assistance available to help Nebraska farmers and livestock producers across the state recover from recent wildfires and ongoing drought. Producers impacted by these events should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses and learn more about program options available to assist in their recovery from crop, land, infrastructure, and livestock losses and damages.

Hay and Forage Hotline 

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has opened a “Hay and Forage Hotline,” to connect buyers with sellers of hay, pasture, and other types of forage. This Hotline service is available to all buyers and sellers for free. The Department is providing this information as it has been given to us; the listing of individual names does not in any way constitute an endorsement of anyone or their respective product. The Hotline is merely designed to be a clearinghouse of information for producers in need.

The hotline number is (402) 471-4876. Sellers of available hay and forage can contact this number and have their name, contact information, and inventory placed on the “Sellers List,” which is updated regularly. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture will then make the “Sellers List” available to buyers by mail or by this website. Once buyers obtain this information they will be responsible for contacting the sellers directly to negotiate any transactions. Learn more here.

Farm Rescue

The mission of Farm Rescue is to help family farms and ranches bridge crises so they have an opportunity to continue viable operations. Farm Rescue provides planting, haying, harvesting, and livestock feeding assistance to farm and ranch families that have experienced a major injury, illness, or natural disaster.

Farm Rescue gives families a chance to continue their livelihood by providing the necessary equipment and manpower (free of charge) to get the job done.

Apply for assistance: https://farmrescue.org/apply/

FEMA ALERTS
In the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) app you can:
  • Receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide.
  • Share real-time notifications with loved ones via text, email, and social media
  • Learn emergency safety tips for over 20 types of disasters, including fires, flooding, hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, volcanoes, and more.
  • Locate open emergency shelters and disaster recovery centers in your area where you can talk to a FEMA representative in person.
  • Prepare for disasters with a customizable emergency kit checklistemergency family plan, and reminders.
You can sign up for emergency text alerts and download the app from FEMA here.