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Posted on Mar 23, 2017 in Audio, Featured, News Releases

Texas Farm Bureau, Monsanto to aid Panhandle wildfire victims

Texas Farm Bureau, Monsanto to aid Panhandle wildfire victims

Texas Wildfire Damage_Photo by Julie Tomascik, Texas Farm Bureau

(WACO, Texas)–Texas farmers and ranchers who suffered the devastating fires that ripped through the Panhandle earlier this month will soon see some much-needed financial relief thanks to Texas Farm Bureau (TFB), generous donations and Monsanto Co.

Monsanto, a sustainable agricultural company, today announced their intent to donate $50,000 in matching donations to TFB’s Panhandle Wildfire Relief Fund.

“We think it’s a great thing,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “It shows Monsanto’s interest and their concern for agriculture and their understanding that these folks have suffered severe hardship. We’re very appreciative.”

Earlier this month, fires burned across nearly half a million acres north of Amarillo, west of Shamrock and near both Pampa and Canadian.

Landowners lost buildings, equipment, livestock and fences. Some lost their lives.

While donations cannot make up for the losses, they can help Texas farmers and ranchers pick up the pieces and rebuild.

“It’s hard to imagine that amount of loss,” Boening said.

Following the fires, the TFB board of directors established the wildfire relief fund to help farmers and ranchers in need.

“Many of our members are affected,” Boening said. “We thought the monetary donation would be best. There’s a lot of other in-kind donations that are happening, which is a great thing also, but at the end of the day, a lot of these folks are just going to need some financial assistance to get back on their feet.”

In addition to the aid provided to Texas farmers and ranchers, Monsanto is lending a helping hand to those suffering from wildfire losses in neighboring states.

“Our hearts go out to those individuals and families who have been impacted by the devastating wildfires in the Lone Star State,” said Brett Begemann, president and chief operating officer at Monsanto. “Here at Monsanto, we are committed to strengthening both farming communities and the communities where we live and work, and supporting others in agriculture.”

“We consider it a privilege to play a small part in the Texas relief efforts and encourage others to join us in restoring the livelihoods of the state’s farmers and ranchers who have lost homes, crops, livestock and grazing lands. We’re all in this together,” he added.

The TFB Panhandle Wildfire Relief Fund is still accepting donations for those affected.

“We really appreciate folks who have donated, and if you haven’t, please consider doing so,” Boening said. “Any and all amounts are helpful. The fact that Monsanto stepped up and was willing to donate $50,000 is great, but there’s a lot more money that is needed.”

Credit card donations may be made via the TFB website at http://TexasFarmBureau.org/panhandle-wildfire-relief-fund.

Checks may be made out to the Texas Farm Bureau Agriculture Research and Education Foundation and mailed to: Panhandle Wildfire Committee, P.O. Box 2689, Waco, Texas 76702-2689. Please include “Attention: Cyndi Gerik” on donation envelopes.

Media outlets: This content may be used without further permission.

Audio files of President Boening's quotes are available below, if needed.

Clip 1:  “We think it’s a great thing. It shows Monsanto’s interest and their concern for agriculture and their understanding that these folks have suffered severe hardship. We’re very appreciative.”

Clip 2: “It’s hard to imagine that amount of loss."

Clip 3: “Many of our members are affected. We thought the monetary donation would be best. There’s a lot of other in-kind donations that are happening, which is a great thing also, but at the end of the day, a lot of these folks are just going to need some financial assistance to get back on their feet.”

Clip 4: “We really appreciate folks who have donated, and if you haven’t, please consider doing so. Any and all amounts are helpful. The fact that Monsanto stepped up and was willing to donate $50,000 is great, but there’s a lot more money that is needed.”

To download a high-resolution copy of the photo included with this release, please click here and here. Please give photo credit to Julie Tomascik, Texas Farm Bureau.