March 22, 2017 In the last 25 years we have covered a variety of topics in our newsletters. Today we have a very different subject to share. Many of you are aware of the wild fires in the Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado prairies. Imagine tonight when you go out to do chores, that all of a sudden your house is burned to the ground, your fences are gone, many of your cattle lay dead in the field, and your pasture and hay supplies are gone. Some estimates say 2 million acres were destroyed. Perhaps as many as 200,000 cattle died. The cattle that didn’t die needed to be put down because of their extensive burns. So with all that on your mind, now you spend a few days shooting injured cattle to put them out of their misery. In some cases your family members died in the fire. People, as well as cattle, will suffer from respiratory aliments, such as pneumonia. Our friends the Gardiners are suffering through this nightmare, near Ashland, Kansas. When I spoke with one of the ranch hands about sending hay he said, “We need it desperately but I do need to tell you one thing. If the Gardiners think their neighbors need it more than they do they will share it with them. That’s just the kind of folks they are.” “Randall Spare, the family’s veterinarian, said the Gardiners have long been known for taking exceptional care of their customers. “Now it’s their turn to repay them,” Spare said of the customers. “The Gardiners are the cream of the crop, like their cattle. I’m not surprised so many people are wanting to help them.” According to Kansas news reports, at least a dozen times Greg Gardiner answered his cell phone as his pickup slowly rolled across a landscape that looked barren. Many were clients who called to ask what they could send or bring and to ask how the Gardiners were holding up. “It’s really something, when you hear a pause on the end of the line, and you know it’s because they’re crying, because they care that much,” Gardiner said. “It gets like that with ranching. It’s like we’re all family.” But it’s the fact that all of his family is still alive that causes the weathered, 58-year-old to stop the truck, think for a bit and sob. On Monday afternoon, he watched his brother Mark and his wife, Eva, disappear behind a wall of fire as they tried to save their horses and dogs at their home, which was destroyed by the fire. “I had no choice but to turn around and drive away, with the fire all around me,” he said softly and slowly. “For a half-hour I didn’t know if my brother and his wife were dead or alive. I really didn’t.” He and some firefighters gathered in the middle of a field of wheat, so short and green it wouldn’t burn. “It was so smoky I didn’t even know exactly where we were at,” he said. “But then a firefighter came driving by and told us everybody made it out. That’s when I knew Mark and his wife were alive. That’s when I knew everything would eventually be all right. I’m telling you, that’s when you learn what’s really important.” Read more here: How do you start putting your life back together? March 24, 2017 about 35 semi loads of supplies headed to Ashland, Kansas from Ohio to help the Gardiners and their neighbors. Efforts of folks like Kyle Munson and Britt Buhler from Rushville, IN and many others donating hay and delivery make the difference. Enclosed with this newsletter is information on how to make a donation. A cash donation is what is most needed at this point. They have many expenses that need paid with no real income. Please consider a donation of any size if you can. Thank you, Bill & Bev Roe Kansas Disaster Relief Fund, Kansas Livestock Foundation 6031 SW 37th Street, Topeka, KS 66614 (785) 273-5115, (785) 273-3399 – Fax Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation, Fire Relief MEMO LINE P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148 For Texas: WRCA Working Ranch Cowboys Assn. 408 SW 7th Avenue, Amarillo, TX, 79101 Phone: (806) 374-9722, Contact email: Texas Department of Agriculture, 1700 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701 Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation, Attn: Disaster Fund 9177 E. Mineral Circle, Centennial, CO 80112 Make checks payable to Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation and note “Disaster Fund-CO Wildfire” in the memo line .