Photo by Denise Cleckler.

Feed and fencing supplies are the most pressing needs of ranchers affected by the Starbuck Fire, which has straddled the Kansas/Oklahoma border and consumed much of Clark County, Kansas.

“The immediate need is hay,” said Dr. Randall Spare, veterinarian and owner of the Ashland Animal Clinic in Ashland. Low-quality forage, high quality forage—it doesn’t really matter. Surviving animals have very little feed. Wheat pasture is available, but is quickly running out, Spare said.

Fencing materials also are needed, said Ashland rancher Dave Bouziden, whose operation was in the crosshairs of the deadly fire. “There are thousands of miles of fencing that need to be replaced,” Bouziden said. Donations of fenceposts and barbed wire are appreciated, and can be deposited at the Ashland Animal Clinic or Kay Feed and Seed in Ashland, or call 785-273-5115 for more details.

The Kansas Livestock Association also is coordinating in-kind donations. Cash donations can be made through the Kansas Livestock Foundation, online at


Benefit auctions

Meanwhile, proceeds from two auctions will help the KLF assist ranchers affected by recent wildfires across the state.

Woodbury Farms has donated a registered Angus heifer, which will be sold during their annual bull and female sale at Overbrook Livestock Commission Company on March 15. The heifer will sell as Lot 55 (view the sale catalog at If you cannot attend the sale but would like to place a bid, call 785-458-2650. There will be an opportunity to add additional dollars onto the lot after the sale.


Impact elsewhere

Jeff Mafi, regional manager for Kansas and Oklahoma for the American Angus Association, has toured the affected region while participating in bull sales.

“I’ve worked a few sales since the fires have occurred. Attendance is down. I heard no one showed up to a sale at the LaCrosse, Kansas, sale barn. People just don’t want to leave their farms and ranches,” said Mafi.

The wide open areas of native grasses in northwest Oklahoma and southwest Kansas and lack of moisture has led to the devastation. Depending on rainfall, Mafi said cattlemen in these areas could be in trouble for summer grazing.

Bill Spiegel can be reached at 785-587-7796 or Jennifer Carrico can be reached at 515-833-2120 or

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