GATESVILLE — A local man is organizing donations for ranchers affected by devastating wildfires in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle.

Gatesville resident Jess McCabe is partnering with two local feed stores, Coryell Feed and The Ranch, to collect donations of fuel and hay to help the ranchers in need.

The supplies most in demand are hay, fuel and fencing materials, especially T-posts and barbed wire.

Hay can be hauled to either store, or picked up by volunteers, where they will then be delivered to the ranchers in need.

Four more trucks are needed to haul the supplies collected so far.

“We, in a convoy, took up close to 250, almost 300 bales of hay, fencing material, and feed (Tuesday),” McCabe said. “This is going to be a continuous need because of the nature of the fires up there.”

McCabe said the trip has been an emotional one.

“We took our load up to Beaver, Okla., and went through the fire zone up there,” McCabe said. “It burned up into Kansas, and dang near into the Oklahoma Panhandle. We dropped the hay and supplies right in the middle of that zone up there.”

“These ranchers are a community, the agricultural community is tight-knit. We know people in the Panhandle who have been affected,” McCabe said. “We’re all connected in various ways, so when we knew our friends needed help, we helped them.”

He tearfully shared a touching moment he experienced during the delivery.

“The gentleman we dropped off last night, gosh dog, when we pulled up there with six semi-trucks and 20 pickup and trailer-loads of hay and fencing materials and feed, this guy was driving his little buggy down the line and stopped at each pickup and introduced himself to each person, and he was doing it in tears.”

Semi-truck drivers willing to haul supplies can call McCabe at 254-855-0631.

“I’ve got collected close to 2,000 bales (of hay),” McCabe said. “I’ve got them scattered all over about three counties and we’re trying to organize getting big trucks loaded at the sites to save from moving things around. Our need right now is finding drivers to haul that hay out there.”

He said that those interested in volunteering will need to pay for their own fuel.

For information about donating, contact Coryell Feed at 254-865-6315 or The Ranch at 254-404-2220.

jdowland@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7464

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