Ranchers across the panhandle find themselves distraught and in financial ruin after more than one million acres of land burned, five people lost their lives, and many livestock were lost as well.
In an effort to help, ranchers across the nation are looking to contribute. Lubbock rancher, Ruth Snowden is working with folks in Amarillo to organize a cattle drive. Although she said it’s in the early stages, she’s hoping to have people in the Lubbock agriculture community offer help.
“Donate a cow, donate a calf, donate anything so we can help them rebuild a herd but also help the ranchers that need money to buy hay and buy feed,” Snowden said.
Snowden said she plans to start reaching out to local feed lots and volunteer truck drivers to see if they can get on board with the drive.
“What we are hoping to do is help ranchers who lost everything in this fire,” Snowden said. “We can’t replace their homes, we can’t replace their family members, we can’t replace anything like that but to a lot of ranchers, your cattle are your family,”
She’s been working alongside Amarillo politician, Brennan Leggett who said the community is heartbroken and in need of resources, but that it’s been incredible to see the outreach.
“I’ve had messages and phone calls from ranchers and farmers from all across this nation within the past couple days it’s been overwhelming,” Leggett said.
Three ranchers were killed by the fire while trying to save their cattle. Leggett said they were all dearly loved by the Panhandle community.
“No one knew they were out there, but to be honest I don’t know of any rancher that wouldn’t of been out there,” Leggett said. “That’s just what you do, it’s your livelihood, they love those cattle too.”
South Plains Red Cross Volunteer Brad Larson went out to Amarillo to help relieve volunteers who had been working for more than 24 hours.
“You feel bad for people, you have no idea what’s going on through their head, they don’t know what’s going on and that’s what’s difficult,” Larson said. “At the same time there’s a good feeling that you helped somebody.”
Happy State Bank has also opened up an account to help families, you can donate money under: Texas Panhandle Disaster Relief. If you would like to volunteer by driving a truck, providing food, or donating a calf you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org