In response to wildfires that spread across the Plains in March, Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) members initiated and completed wildfire relief efforts, raising $1.1 million dollars. Funds raised have been sent to state agriculture trade associations for disbursement to livestock producers, local fire departments who had battled the flames, and/or the families of those who perished in the wildfires.
As early as the week of wildfires, and continuing through April, more than 40 LMA member-markets across 12 different states coordinated various benefits and relief efforts. In addition to rollover calf and miscellaneous item auctions, LMA members organized fencing supply/hay drives, collection of monetary donations, and trucking services.
On wildfire relief efforts, LMA President, Jerry Etheredge, said, “It is exciting be part of an industry and organization that will rally around others in need and go to great effort to generate funds. The dollar amount raised speaks highly of the character of our membership and their customer base. It has been a blessing to be a blessing.”
Currently, it is estimated by state officials that the wildfires in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas burnt 1.6 million acres of pasture and 18,000 miles of fence, resulting in damages of approximately $180 million dollars. Losses also include feed resources, buildings, equipment, and human and animal life.
Lindsay Graber Runft, LMA Director of Marketing and Communications, said, “The response from livestock auction markets and those who donated to the efforts has been absolutely phenomenal. On behalf of our members, thank you to those who contributed through monetary, livestock, fencing supply, and trucking service donations or ‘sweat equity.’ We have been blown away by the generosity and outpouring of selfless support for those in the agriculture community.”