Like many of you, my thoughts and prayers have been with the families whose lives were literally uprooted by the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma on Monday.
I can not imagine what it must be like to lose your home, neighborhood and loved ones all in a matter of minutes.
One group of tornado victims lost their livelihood as well: the many family farmers and ranchers in the storm’s path.
Farmers and ranchers lost barns, storage sheds and shops that housed millions of dollars of livestock or equipment.
Their crop fields were ravaged and their pasture fences destroyed.
When many of their neighbors return to work in their offices, these farmers will still be cleaning up debris.
When their friends are once again bringing home a paycheck, these farmers will still be a long way from being ready to raise animals or crops again.
My heart goes out to these hard working families because I know they have a long road ahead of them.
My friend Holly Carroll, a former Kentucky FFA state officer and agriculture educator, now works for Oklahoma Farm Bureau.
Yesterday, she shared with me one way that we can help the Oklahoma farm families affected by the tornadoes by donating to the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation.
In a facebook message she said,
“At this point we look at it like a marathon, not a sprint. We are trying to think long term for clean up on the farms.”
Holly said they plan to use donations to purchase the basics for rebuilding and cleaning up farms, such as gloves, shovels, rakes, etc…
If you’d like to donate, mail a check to:
Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation
Attn: Monica Wilke
2501 N Stiles
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Please make checks out to Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation and write “tornado relief” on the memo line or an enclosed note.
If you’d like more information or have questions, you can contact Holly Carroll directly by phone at 405-301-6610 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of all, keep these farming and ranching families in your thoughts and prayers. They have a long, hard road ahead of them but if they’re anything like the farm families I know (and I have a feeling they are) they won’t stop working until their farms are in even better shape than before.