Ef­fort be­gun to help South­ern Plains farm­ers

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

I am writ­ing this let­ter to in­form our com­mu­nity of an ef­fort that many of us in South­ern Mary­land are work­ing on. As many peo­ple may, or may not know, back in early March the South­ern Plains were dev­as­tated by sev­eral wild fires. The states of Texas, Ok­la­homa, Colorado and Kansas saw mil­lions of acres burn, tens of thou­sands of live­stock killed, hun­dreds of homes de­stroyed, and seven peo­ple killed be­cause of these wild fires. A ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple largely af­fected by the dev­as­ta­tion were farm­ers and ranch­ers. Many of these peo­ple have lost ever ything they own.

I have seen the sto­ries of miles of fence line de­stroyed, homes burned, build­ings no longer in ex­is­tence, cat­tle be­ing burned be­yond recog­ni­tion, and even the loss of hu­man life. I have watched the in­ter­views with these peo­ple. My heart goes out to them, and I mourn for them.

But we are do­ing some­thing about it. A little over a month ago, farm­ers from all over South­ern Mary­land got to­gether and came up with a plan. We de­cided that we are go­ing to raise money to help our agri­cul­tural brethren in the South­ern Plains. We will be hold­ing a ben­e­fit auc­tion Satur­day, May 6, at the Charles County Fair­grounds.

One hun­dred per­cent of all pro­ceeds raised that night will go di­rectly to Clark County, Kan. Clark county is a county in south­west Kansas that was 85 per­cent burned dur­ing these wild fires. Be­ing pri­mar­ily an agri­cul­ture com­mu­nity, most of the peo­ple af­fected in Clark County are farm­ers and ranch­ers. Some 500,000 acres in this county alone were de­stroyed, thou­sands of cat­tle and other live­stock were killed, miles of fence line and twenty five homes were de­stroyed, just to name a few things that were de­stroyed.

It is our hope to raise a tremen­dous amount of money for this com­mu­nity. We have a huge se­lec­tion of items to bid on. We have con­cert tick­ets, wine tast­ings, bushels of crabs, fish­ing trips, quilts, lo­cal meats, and much more! This is be­ing put on by farm­ers from all over the South­ern Mary­land re­gion, and again 100 per­cent of all the money raised that night will go di­rectly to Clark County, Kan.

We would love to have you join us May 6 at 5 p.m. at the Charles County Fair­grounds. It will be a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence. Thank you all.

David Han­cock, Bel Al­ton The writer is the pres­i­dent of the Charles County Farm Bureau.

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