Local farmers donate to feed animals in states devastated by wildfires

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ARLINGTON, Neb. (WOWT) -- This month’s wildfires in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado left 7 people dead, killed an untold number of cattle and burned close to a million acres of land. With so much devastation, several Nebraska farmers decided to help by sending animal feed to Kansas.

“Agriculture communities are small,” said Bill Rhea of Arlington, Nebraska. “We like to think that those of us in northeastern Nebraska can help our brethren in western Kansas because we know they would do the same for us.”

Rhea, who operates the Rhea Cattle Company, felt he had to step in since the wildfires wiped out entire ranches.

So he went online to ask – who’s with me?

A man from Mead answered the post by donating a semi to drive the alfalfa pellets from Rhea’s Mill in Arlington, Nebraska to Kansas – more than 300-miles away.

The alfalfa pellets are feed for the animals. Workers loaded the trailer with 44,000 lbs of it.

Once one truck came in -- fellow farmers, Rhea said, called in more offers to contribute.

One company told Rhea: “’If you get a third truck filled, we’ll haul it.’ It’s just snowballing.”

Bill Rhea and many others who helped on a windy Thursday morning can’t imagine losing their livelihood to fire and having to start over.

But they understand how one small gesture can multiply.