For my Extension Minute, I just wanted to talk about how proud I am to be from Montana and even though our state is so large, we band together and make Montana seem like one really close neighborhood. For this extension minute, I’m referring to the help gathered from all over the state and neighboring states for the Lodgepole Complex fire in Eastern Montana. Currently the fire is 93% contained and has burned over 270,000 acres. With a severe drought and temperatures around 100 degrees, firefighting is not easy. The destruction of the fire includes houses, livestock, and miles of fence line. Imagine losing your home and livelihood simultaneously in the quick sweep of a fire.
|Photo by Preston Keihl|
Almost immediately, donation stations were set up for firefighters, volunteers, and for those who lost land and livestock in the fire. This is what makes me proud to be from this great state of Montana. Youth organizations, nonprofit organizations, and big companies all come together to support our brothers and sisters in agriculture. CHS nutrition donated over 100 tons of feed for livestock, the local Conservation Districts and 4-H clubs went to work organizing donation drop off points. Stockman Bank offered to match up to $10,000 in donations collected in their branches. These are just a few examples of groups who have come together to help in this scary time of drought and fire in Eastern Montana. If you are interested in helping too, the Northern Ag Network has compiled a list of ways to donate located on their website.
I’m so glad I live in such a big state with people with such big hearts. It brings me so much pride to be a part of the agriculture community.
Please contact MSU Extension – Toole County if you have any questions on how to donate or other ideas on how to help out these farmers and ranchers in our great state.
Kim Suta Woodring
Toole County Extension