To help the farmers and ranchers in Garfield County and surrounding areas Montana Farmers Union along with the four other Farmers Union Enterprise (FUE) states which include Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota made a donation this week to the Farmers Union Oil Co-Op in Jordan, MT.
Montana Farmers Union Board of Director, and Jordan rancher Brett Dailey, presented the manager of the co-op Bob Wilson with a check for $25,000. The donation will go to replace fencing lost due to the fire. Farmers or ranchers interested in qualifying for fencing donations compliments of FUE should contact the co-op directly. Donations are on a first come, first serve basis.
“Montana Farmers Union is a great organization to try to help get things back in operation,” said Wilson. ”We certainly appreciate the support.” Wilson said it’s going to be a challenge to get all the fencing up, but said relatives are coming from all over to help get the process started.
Montana Farmers Union President Alan Merrill said he is appreciative of the partner states for stepping up. “Farmers Union is a family, we all help each other in times of need,” said Merrill. “We know it will be a process to rebuild for the residents of Garfield County, but are confident in their ability. Montana farmers and ranchers are strong, resilient and with the help of neighbors will come out stronger than before.”
Dailey’s ranch is located west of Jordan and was mostly spared by the fire with the exception of a smaller pasture he uses to grazes yearlings. He said the support has been overwhelming. “It’s neighbors helping neighbors here,” said Dailey. “We thought a perfect solution to help the county was to donate to the local co-op as Montana Farmers Union was formed on this principle.”
According to Wilson in Garfield County and the surrounding areas cattle, sheep and wheat are the primary sources of income for producers. He also said some farmers are now experimenting with peas and dryland corn. One advantage Wilson said the ranchers have is the ability to keep livestock on their land rather than transporting to a feedlot. He said this is thanks in part to the overwhelming donations of hay from across the region.
Those interested in helping area farmers and ranchers affected by the fire are encouraged to contact the Farmers Union Oil Co. in Jordan by calling 557-2215.