Billings, Mont. - In response to numerous requests by people asking how they can donate to help fire victims in the Panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas and in Kansas and Colorado, R-CALF USA has set up an account to both receive and distribute donations.
Tatum Lee, R-CALF USA Development Director, said her group appreciates the donations of hay and feed that fellow ranchers are already providing and that she is presently coordinating to ranchers affected by the fires.
She said the next hurdle is going to be the repair and replacement of their fences and her group estimates that labor and material costs will be about $10,000 per mile to take out burned fences and replace with new.
"Unfortunately, we believe that hundreds of miles of fence will need to be replaced in the burn areas and we are not sure if available government programs will help cover all the costs," Lee commented.
Lee said R-CALF USA has set up a "$50 Fence Fundraiser" account in the organizations charitable foundation, USA FREE. The group is now accepting donations from anyone who would like to help fire victims offset their fence repair costs.
"Though we're calling it a "$50 Fence Fundraiser," we expect that some will give more and some will give less. Our hope is that we can raise $250,000 to help our fellow ranchers," Lee said.
Lee explained that R-CALF will not take any administrative costs from the account and all monies will go directly to affected ranchers.
"We're still working out the details of how distribution decisions will be made but we tentatively intend to rely on the loss verifications that affected ranchers will be sending to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) to verify their losses."
Donations can be made by mail to:
C/O USA FREE
PO Box 30715
Billings, MT 59107
Donations can also be made online:
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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. For more information, visit or, call 406-252-2516.