As many of you know the last couple of weeks have been difficult on the plains of the Midwest. Wildfires have burned the countryside of Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. But through the difficulty of losing livestock, pastures, hay, homes, out buildings and love ones we have all come together as a community to push forward. Thousands of people have been affected but hundreds of thousands of people from all over the United States have rallied together to help out those in the ag community during this time of need. Groups of people all over have done what they can to donate to the cause. Including asking their communities to donate by setting up a donation table at local farm stores; crowdfunding; donating time to go and re-build; getting stores to donate food and water to help feed all the extra volunteers; donating fencing supplies; donating hay, silage and trucks/trailers to be trucked to the areas effected and even donating livestock from their own herds.
Since driving on the highways over spring break I have seen first-hand several trucks loaded with hay that are headed south to drop off the donated hay and feed stuffs. It fills my heart with so much joy to see everyone coming together in a time of need, to help complete strangers that share the same passion…agriculture. There have also been several fellow K-Stater’s that have given up their weekends and spring break to go down and lend a hand wherever needed. Along with that we, the sisters of Sigma Alpha, have put together a t-shirt campaign that has raised over $20,000 and sold more than 1500 shirts in which all the proceeds will go to help the victims. The Fort Hays chapter along with a couple other chapters have set up places to drop off donations that will be trucked to the affected areas. Students that left Manhattan and went home over spring break have offered to load up their vehicles with donations from their local communities to drive back. They have worked with others to then get the materials trucked further south to those that need it. This outpouring of supports from the K-State family and those passionate about agriculture nationwide has been amazing and I know the fire victims greatly appreciate it.
From death and hardship comes new light and a new beginning. And thus, it is time to rebuild and become better by doing better than we ever were before. So, I’ll end with this quote from Matthew 4:16 “the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in the land overshadowed by death light has arisen.”