The farming and agriculture communities in Maryland will be hosting a benefit auction to help those farmers and ranchers affected by the recent devastating fires in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas.
Background: The devastation to land, buildings and livestock is overwhelming. The fires ripped across the Plains states, killing grazing animals, incinerating grasslands and destroying homes and barns. Kansas was particularly hard hit. In Clark County alone, where Giles-Betschart lives, 400,000 acres were burned, according to the Kansas Farm Bureau.
The wildfires in Kansas were the largest in the state’s history, with more than 651,000 acres destroyed in total. Large overgrowth combined with a long stretch without rain plus high late-winter temperatures led to much of the terrain becoming a tinder box that quickly became uncontrollable.
“The fire has taken the lives of thousands of cattle, ruined thousands of miles of fence, decimated most of the pasture used for grazing, consumed much of the hay they use for supplemental feed, and destroyed a substantial number of homes,” Meagan Cramer, with the Kansas Farm Bureau, tells Fox News. “Rebuilding will take years, not months, and tens of millions of dollars to rebuild herds, fence and other infrastructure these ranchers rely on for income.”
Below is just one of many videos about the devastation!vimeo.com/209890957
Below is a link with a story of how 4-H members in the wildfire areas are helping with orphaned calves:www.cattlenetwork.com/news/industry/kansas-4-hers-take-calves-orphaned-fires
Below is a map of Clark County in Kansas that shows the area within that county torched by the fire. It has been reported that approximately 85% of pasture/grassland within the county have been destroyed.
Our Efforts, Our Plan: While being spearheaded by representatives in the Southern Maryland area, this event is being support by many farm bureaus and other organizations within the State. Several other local Maryland jurisdictions and farm bureau organizations may have or will have plans to do additional events as well (however many are also supporting and joining us in addition to their local efforts).
We also would like to recognize area auctioneers and staff who have offered to assist especially the support of the Auctioneers Association of Maryland!
Our goals is simple—to raise funds to send to area(s) affected most by this devastation. The need for help will continue for months and years—as these farmers and ranchers rebuild their herds, re-establish pastures, rebuild barns and storage areas. Our initial plan is to provide support for the Clark County area in Kansas. As we can, we will expand our efforts and provide for support for other areas as well.
Food and Refreshments will be available and supported by local 4-H Clubs, FFA, and Young Farmers’ organizations in the area—THANK YOU!
David Hancock (Hancock Family Farms and President of Charles County Farm Bureau) has agreed to manage/oversee the food and refreshments. If you produce local meats or other food items you would like to donate, please contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations & Sponsorship:
Major Event Sponsor: If you or you business/organization would like to be a "Major Event Sponsor", please contact us as soon as possible. Major Event Sponsors are at the $2500 level. Your name, business, or organization will be featured in our advertising throughout the event. You ad will also be included in our event catalog and you will receive recognition throughout the evening. For other levels of give, please refer to the section below.
"Fund-a-Need", "Support the Cause", "Live Appeal" or Cash Donations: Called different things—this is an opportunity for those to provide donations at various levels of giving—a level that you feel comfortable! This live appeal will be held at the event during the live auction. We will start with asking for donations at the following giving levels:
Again, give to the level that suits you! All donations are appreciated. For those individuals, businesses or organizations that would like to provide a level of donation PRIOR to the event, please contact us as soon as possible. If we receive your donation prior to the event, we will—to the extent possible—place your name in our catalog (especially for those donating $250 or more).
ITEMS DONATION: Donations are being accepted with 100% of the proceeds going directly to benefit those in need. We will update the list of donated items as they become available. We will also try to post pictures of items/descriptions. Many individuals, business and organizations are asking what type of items we will accept for this auction event. We want to maximize our efforts and resources—therefore, we are hoping for quality items. Below are a few suggestions/ideas to consider:
Experiences: For example: "One Hour Ride in a Combine or Tractor"; Local, State or Federal Legislature may offer to "spend a day with him/her"
Tours—Wine or Distillery Tour, Farm Tour, Etc.
Package Deal for an Event—Sports Event; Use of a Facility; Family Deal Tickets/Package for an upcoming event—such as a fair, festival, races, etc.)
Locally Raised Items (Meats, Produce, Vegetables, etc)
Animal Feed, Hay
New (or good quality) Lawn/Garden Items
Grass Cutting Service for the Summer
Load of Mulch, Asphalt Millings, Etc.
Farm Equipment/Items (Please call if donating large items)
Services (for an example providing a catered event)
Local Newspaper provide Free Advertising for an Event/Business
Summer of Clean Vehicles (some youth groups may offer to clean vehicles for the summer)
New (good quality) Crafts/Handcrafted Furniture Items
Livestock (for example, a calf, pig, goat, etc). Our thought is if someone would like to donate/sell an animal we encourage them to take several good pictures and send them to us as well as a good description (age, sex, weight, breed, etc.). We will advertise to the buyer that he/she will be responsible for picking up the animal at your farm and arrangements will be made between seller and buyer with pick-up to be within one week.
We also plan to have a baked goods table and will be accepting these types of items on Saturday morning.
While we certainly appreciate everyone’s generosity, we need to make sure items/events/experiences are of good quality and appropriate. Therefore, we may need to limit or refuse acceptance of some items. We will not accept used appliances, tires, hazardous materials, unsaleable “yard sale items”, used/less-desirable household items, etc. Please contact one of the event coordinators if you have questions about items you wish to donate.
We will be available to receive donations on Thursday, May 4th and Friday, May 5th (times to be posted at a later date). It would be greatly appreciated if you could let us know about your donations as soon as possible so we can get them advertised and included in our catalog. To be included in our event catalog, information/pictures of your donations should be received no later than 8 pm Friday May 5th. (Again, please call as soon as possible with your donation information).
For questions regarding donations or to become an event sponsor, please contact any of the following individuals below:
Brian Russell (St. Mary's) —240-298-5181 email@example.com
David Hancock (Charles County)—301-752-2353 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Leavitt (Calvert County—703-899-6380 email@example.com (please note there is an “underscore” between first and last name).
Ronnie Farrell—301-904-3402— firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to Calvert County, Charles County and St. Mary's County Farm Bureaus for their support and financial assistance!
The Calvert County Farm Bureau has agreed to serve as the “treasurer” for this event. If you or your business would like to donate money to help offset the cost to hold this event (e.g., help with cost of food, advertising, etc.) please contact Jason Leavitt (email contact provide above).
Checks should be made payable to Calvert County Farm Bureau. (In the memo note "Wildfire Benefit Relief)
THANK YOU—THANK YOU—THANK YOU