- Associated Press - Thursday, May 11, 2017

CORSICA, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota farmers, ranchers and businesses are raising money to help their counterparts in Kansas and Oklahoma who were affected by devastating wildfires that burned more than 1,000 square miles along the Kansas-Oklahoma border in early March.

South Dakota farmers have been donating hay to be auctioned, with the money going to a fund called “Southern States Fence Benefit,” the Daily Republic reported (https://bit.ly/2qXAroE ).

Dakota Hay Auction owner Willy Groeneweg has been helping with the fundraising efforts and says nearly $2,000 has been raised so far. He says more than 16,000 miles of fence was destroyed and ranchers are having a difficult time keeping livestock on their property.

All of the hay that is donated is sold commission-free, Groeneweg said, so there is no selling fee. Groeneweg held a free appreciation luncheon Monday to help spread awareness about the fundraising efforts. The total raised from that event is still to be determined.

“We deal with ranchers and farmers and we felt South Dakota can be heard that way. We’re caring about what happened in Kansas and Oklahoma,” Groeneweg said



Last month farmer Steve Roduner helped deliver four loads of hay to farmers in need in Kansas. Roduner said hay is no longer needed in the southern states and the focus has shifted to raising money for fencing supplies.

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Information from: The Daily Republic, https://www.mitchellrepublic.com

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