John Scott, pictured with his daughter Montana and dog Rufus, has spearheaded a convoy, a 700 mile trek, to bring hay and fencing supplies to Kansas farmers who have been devastated by fires. Montana will be going along. Rufus will be staying home. Photo by Tara Lindquist
By Tara Lindquist
Wildfires burned through Kansas earlier this month leaving nothing but charred pastures and incinerated farm animals in its wake. Media estimates report half a million acres burned.
To help with the devastation in Kansas, area farmers are organizing a hay convoy. John Scott, owner of VS Family Farms, is organizing the convoy.
"I was sitting at a volleyball tournament on Saturday and was thinking about ways we could help," he said. "Governor Dayton had signed a proclamation allowing hay to be brought out of state without permits so I thought this was a way we could help."
Scott will be gifting his own hay and will also be picking up others hay "gifts" this week from area farmers that want to donate.
So far, he has stops in Elko, Minnesota and Northwood, Iowa. He also heard from a group out of Glenwood, Wisconsin that will either be dropping hay off or will be joining them in their 700 mile trek to Kansas.
When asked why he was organizing the donation convoy he responded, "We're farmers it's what we do - we're a community. If something happened to us I would want someone to step in and help."
Scott said it's not only hay that is needed, fencing materials are needed as well.
"-Pastures and building sites went up in flames in a matter of minutes, there wasn't time to save much."
He added that it will take quite a while for the pasture land to start to grow again.
Anyone interested in gifting hay, money to purchase hay or fencing supplies, can contact Scott at 438-1100. Trucks will be loaded Sunday, April 2, and the semis will leave at 6 a.m. on April 3.
At press time, there were five semis, one pick up and trailer making the trip.