Hay collection sites have been set up across Nebraska to help livestock owners who lost their stockpiled forages and still need to care for livestock. Hay donation drop-off sites for large round bales are located at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center at Mead and at Haskell Ag Lab near Concord, to name a few. Here, trucks haul donated hay into a drop-off site at the Verdigre Livestock Auction in Verdigre. Hay donated here will be sent to farmers and ranchers in Knox County who need the forages to help feed livestock displaced by floods that ravaged the county this spring.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Trucks from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Michigan recently had arrived at the Verdigre Livestock Auction at the time this photo was taken. After Nebraskans donated hay to those affected by wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas in recent years, producers in those states have been paying it forward by donating hay to Nebraska producers in need.
CENTER OF OPERATIONS
Since the major flood event in March, several fairgrounds, event centers and livestock auctions have become the center of operations for collecting donations of hay, feed, fencing and other supplies. Here, at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, Bruce Whitten (left) and Jason Amick (center) of Lincoln drop off donated hay bales with the help of Lancaster Event Center operations supervisor Matt Walker. Lancaster Event Center has received donations from across the country — from local donors and from as far away as Arkansas and Wisconsin.
UNROLLING AND RE-BALING
Marcus Hellwege feeds an unrolled hay bale into a square baler at the Lancaster Event Center in this photo taken in March. During the flooding, airboats have been used as a means of rescue transportation and for delivering necessities to flood victims. Because 1,600-pound round bales are too big to haul to cattle via airboat, it was necessary for volunteers and employees at Lancaster Event Center to unroll large round bales and re-bale them as small square bales.
According to general manager Brian Palmer, Platte County Ag Park had taken in about 1,200 large round and about 400 small square bales as of early April — including grass and alfalfa hay. As Palmer points out, many have gone out of their way to donate hay. One of the biggest donors so far has been Ames Construction of Aurora, Colo. "They purchased 14 semi loads of hay in eastern Colorado and western Nebraska and used their trucks to bring all of that hay here to Ag Park," Palmer says. "For them to put that together so quickly was pretty amazing."
A Nebraska Army National Guard cargo truck and trailer picks up large round bales at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead in late March to be delivered to producers in need.
A semi load of hay arrives at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center. As of late March, ENREC had received more than 600 large and small bales of grass hay, 40 large round bales of alfalfa hay, 36 large round oat bales, 38 cornstalk bales, 24 small straw bales, and 66 large round bales of millet hay.
DONATIONS ROLLING IN
It isn't just hay that's being donated. In this photo, donated fencing supplies, including posts and spools of barbed wire, sit on pallets in a shop at ENREC. As of late March, about 70 rolls of barbed wire and more than 450 fence posts had been donated at ENREC.
Donations to collection sites such as ENREC have come in from across the country. For example, these bulk feed totes — each weighing more than 2,000 pounds — were donated from a feed manufacturing and grain trading business in Tulare, Calif.