WAYLAND, Mich. - A group of West Michigan farmers are traveling to Nebraska to help those adversely impacted by severe flooding and blizzards.
A group of farmers is leaving the Wayland Livestock Auction on Wednesday, April 17. They came together and created the 16-truck relief convoy after the two major winter storms and flooding last month in Nebraska.
Farmers connected on Facebook and created Farm and Rancher Aid from West Michigan. A number of communities collected water, food and farming materials that Nebraska farmers, ranchers and their families may need.
On Thursday, students from Hopkins Public Schools loaded up donations at the Hopkins Ag Bard. The students loaded up nearly 200 Easter baskets, as well as hay, straw and fencing supplies.
Over the last three weeks, Nebraska has been hit hard by two major winter storms causing widespread flooding and devastating damage from water and ice flows. Officials expect their initial farm damage estimates -- $400 million in damages to crops, and $400 million in lost livestock, will be exceeded, according to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.
According to Farm and Rancher Aid from West Michigan, total damage estimates nearing $1.4 billion:
- $439 million road and bridge infrastructure
- $85 million in private residential and property
- $400 million in cow-calf losses
- $440 million in crop losses
- 41 businesses destroyed
- 2,067 homes destroyed
- 200 miles of state roads damaged
- 16 state highway bridges that are impassable
The relief convoy will arrive in Fremont, Nebraska on Friday and focus on providing aid and resources to Fremont, Schuyler and Columbus.
The convoy will visit hog and cattle producers on Saturday, April 20. One hog producer lost 700 head. The farmers will also visit a Texas Longhorn cattle producer who also suffered a heart attack. Other stops will be to local food pantries to drop off non-perishable food donations and Easter eggs/baskets.
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