AgDay Daily Recap - December 27, 2017

December 27, 2017 02:57 AM
 
AgDay

TODAY ON AGDAY
DECEMBER 27, 2017


HEADLINES
"AS WE COME DOWN TO THE END OF 2017, WILDFIRE SEASON WE'RE IN NEAR  RECORD TERRITORY>" WE'LL LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIGGEST FIRES THAT SCORCHED FARM COUNTRY. "I'M A THIRD GENERATION RANCHER. FIRST TIME WE EVER HAD ANYTHIGN LIKE THIS HAPPEN," DESTROYING HOMES, SCARRING LAND, AND SHAKING LIVES.... "I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'D CALL THEM FIRE BALLS OR FIRE TORNADOES, BUT THEY'D WHIRL AROUND AND HIT THE  TRUCK..." AND THE FUTURE OF THE COW HERD... HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO REBUILD?  "SOME COWS IN HARMS WAY, WE'RE JUST NOW PREG CHECKING THEM," AGDAY - PRESENTED BY CHEVY SILVERADO. HIGH-STRENGTH STEEL FOR HIGH-STRENGTH DEPENDABILITY.

YEAR OF DISASTERS
GOOD MORNING I'M CLINTON GRIFFITHS. 2017 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS ONE OF THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE AND COSTLIEST  YEARS FOR NATURAL DISASTERS IN U-S HISTORY. WE'VE WITNESSED THREE MAJOR HURRICANES IN THIS COUNTRY - HARVEY, IRMA  AND MARIA. THOSE ARE EASY TO REMEMBER DUE TO THEIR SCOPE AND SIZE. BUT DO YOU REMEMBER THE TORNADO OUTBREAK IN EARLY MARCH THAT HIT  THE MIDWEST? OR HOW ABOUT THAT APRIL AND MAY FLOODING IN MISSOURI AND ARKANSAS? AND THERE WAS THE LINGERING DROUGHT THAT TURNED MONTANA INTO  KINDLING AND NORTH DAKOTA FIELDS AND PASTURES INTO PARCHED LAND. ALL OF THOSE ARE "BILLION DOLLAR DISASTERS" AS MEASURED BY THE  NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION. WHILE NUMBERS ARE STILL BEING TALLIED, THERE ARE AT LEAST 17 BILLION  DOLLAR NATURAL DISASTERS IN THE U-S THIS YEAR. SEVERAL OF THOSE MAJOR DISASTERS INVOLVED WILDFIRES THIS YEAR. AND  SOME ARE STILL BURNING. AND THAT'S WHERE WE'LL FOCUS  OUR ATTENTION THIS MORNING.

WILDFIRE OVERVIEW
ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL INTERAGENCY FIRE CENTER, WILDFIRES HAVE  CHARRED JUST OVER NINE-AND-HALF MILLION ACRES OF U-S VEGETATION - INCLUDING NOT ONLY FORESTS BUT GRAZING AND RANCHLAND. THAT TOTAL PUTS 2017 AS ONE OF THE MOST ACTIVE WILDFIRE SEASONS. WE'RE IN NEAR RECORD TERRITORY. WE'VE SEEN MORE THAN NINE AND A HALF MILLION ACRES BURNED  NATIONALLY AND ONLY TWO OTHER YEARS IN RECENT HISTORY HAVE TOPPED THAT JUST TWO YEARS AGO.  WE GOT TO ABOUT TEN POINT ONE MILLION ACRES AND THEN BACK IN 2006 WE ENDED THE SEASON  WITH ABOUT NINE POINT NINE MILLION ACRES."CALIFORNIA BREAKING ITS OWN STATE RECORDS I 2017 WITH WILDFIRES  ALONE.  ACCU WEATHER FORECASTING THE STATE'S WILDFIRE SEASON WILL COST 180  BILLION DOLLARS.  THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY AND FIRE PROTECTION SAYS ONE- HUNDRED-15 SEPARATE FIRES, EACH AT LEAST 300 ACRES IN SIZE, ROLLED  THROUGH THE STATE THIS YEAR. SOME OF THE LARGEST DAMAGE CAME IN OCTOBER IN 'WINE COUNTRY" AND  NOW, THE SO-CALLED "THOMAS FIRE" IN TWO COUNTIES JUST OUTSIDE LOS  ANGELES. "SOMEONE CAME AROUND HOKING THEIR HORN LIKE CRAZY AND I WAS LIKE - WHAT IS GOING ON? I DON'T KNOW WHAT INSPIRED ME TO LOOK OUT MY BEDROOM WINDOW BECAUSE  IT'S IN THE BACK OF THE HOUSE AND THE CAR IS IN THE FRONT BUT I I DREW THE BLINDS AND I JUST SAW  FLAMES ALL UP ON THE HILL BEHIND MY HOUSE."WILDFIRES TORCHED MORE THAN A MILLION ACRES IN MONTANA THIS YEAR.  ALL MONTANA COUNTIES WERE APPROVED FOR EMERGENCY HAYING AND  GRAZING THROUGH THE CRP PROGRAM. 53 OF THE STATE'S 56 COUNTIES HAVE  BEEN DECLARED EITHER PRIMARY OR CONTIGUOUS DISASTER AREAS.  AS A RESULT, MONTANA IS STILL PLAGUED WITH DROUGHT - ROUGHLY THREE- FOURTHS OF THE STATE IS ABNORMALLY DRY, MORE THAN HALF IS CONSIDERED  MODERATE DROUGHT WHILE OVER 30 PERCENT IS RANKED A SEVERE DROUGHT.   AND IN SOUTH DAKOTA - MORE THAN 54-THOUSAND ACRES OF LAND IN CUSTER  STATE PARK BURNED JUST TWO WEEKS AGO. IT WAS STARTED BY A DOWNED POWER LINE. PARK RANGERS ARE ASKING PEOPLE TO HELP NEIGHBORING FARMERS AND  RANCHERS WHO LOST GRAZING LANDS AND HAY.  THE PARK IS KNOWN FOR ITS LARGE HERD OF BISON, BURROS AND ELK.  SOME  ANIMALS GOT CAUGHT IN THE FIRE. DUE TO THEIR INJURIES, SEVERAL HAD TO BE  EUTHANIZED.

KANSAS WILDFIRES
UNFORTUNATELY, A SIMILAR SCENARIO PLAYED OUT ACROSS THE SOUTHERN  PLAINS LAST MARCH WHEN WILDFIRES ERUPTED IN TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, KANSAS  AND COLORADO. MORE THAN A MILLION AND HALF ACRES BURNED IN THREE  DAYS' TIME. THOUSANDS OF HEAD OF CATTLE GOT CAUGHT IN FAST-MOVING FLAMES. VETERINARIANS WERE PRESSED INTO ACTION TO PUT-DOWN THE ANIMALS.  NOW - NINE MONTHS LATER - BETSY JIBBEN RETURNS TO CLARK COUNTY  KANSAS TO VISIT WITH ONE VETERINARIAN WHO IS HELPING RANCHING FAMILIES  REBUILD THEIR HERDS. ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER STOP FOR DR. RANDALL SPARE  AS THE ASHLAND VETERINARIAN CONDUCTS PREGNANCY CHECKS FOR WINTER  CALVING.  "SOME COWS IN HARMS WAY, WE'RE JUST NOW PREG CHECKING THEM," THIS YEAR THERE'S HIGHTENED CONCERN FOLLOWING THE WILDFIRES IN MARCH  THAT BURNED THE MAJORITY OF CLARK COUNTY, KANSAS.  "95 PERCENT OF THE CATTLE WERE LOST OFF 9 RANCHES. THOSE RANCHES ARE SLOWLY ASSESSING WHAT NEEDS ARE,"DESPITE THE DESTRUCTION AND CATTLE LOSSES DR. SPARE SAYS TODAY'S NUMBERS ARE RIGHT WHERE HE EXPECTS.  "TREMENDOUS GIFT FOR THESE PRODUCERS SINCE REPRODUCTIVE EFFICIENCY I STILL THE NUMBER ONE  PREDICTOR OF PROFITABILITY IN A RANCH,"YET THERE ARE PROBLEMS... SOME OF THE COWS  SUFFERED HOOF AND EVEN UTTER PROBLEMS.  "THERE CONTINUES TO BE A NUMBER OF ORPHANED CALVES JUST BECAUSE THOSE COWS DIDN'T  PRODUCE MILK, BUT IT'S MINIMAL,"CALVES BORN EARLIER IN T HE YEAR SEEM TO BE DOING WELL.  "NOW CALVES THAT ARE BEING BORN DURING HTE FIRE WEIGH 5 TO 600 POUNDS. THEY'VE HAD A TREMENDOUS SUMMER. THAT CALF WEIGHT LOOKS LIKE IT'S GOIGN TO BE OK,"DR. SPARE SAYS REBUILDING IN THIS AREA WILL TAKE T IME AS SOM EOF THE  RANCHERS PRIDE THEMSELVES ON HIGH END GENETICS - THE BEST OF HTE BEST  FOR THEIR STOCK.  "GENETICS ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO US SO WE CAN'T REPLACE WHAT WE HAD WITH JUST ANYTHING,"30-THOUSAND ACRES OF THIS RANCH IN ASHLAND, KANSAS BURNED IN LESS  THAN TWO HOURS. HALF OF THE COW HERD GONE WITH IT..  BETSCHART SAYS THE FAMILY IS SLOWLY BUYING HEIFERS AND HOPE TO BE  FULLY RESTOCKED BY 2019.  "THE CATTLE LEFT ARE DOING WELL. WE'RE STARTING TO GET IN STOCKERS SO WE'LL RUN IN STOCKERS OVER  THE NEXT FEW YEARS,""WE ARE PURCHASING BRED HEIFERS WE'LL CALVE THIS WINTER AND AFTER THAT OUR PLAN IS TO RESTOCK  FROM WITHIN AND HOLD BACK MORE HEIFERS,""THEY HAVE THE FLEXIBILITY OF  ADDING STOCKER CATTLE VERSUS COWS. THEY USE STOCKER CATTLE TO FILL IN THE GAPS AS WE GET RAIN," OTHERS LIKE BERNIE SMITH IN BEAVER COUNTY, OKLAHOMA HAD COWS  DONATED TO HIM AND PURCHASED SOME THROUGH AUCTIONS.  "THE AREA HAS DONE SOME RESTOCKING. IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME AND IT WILL PROBABLY TAKE YEARS.  WE'RE GOIGN TO HVE TO LET HTE GRASS GET SEEDED BACK,""NOW IF WE CAN HAVE A GOOD WINTER AND SPRING, MAYBE NEXT YEAR, WE'LL BE CLOSER TO  NORMAL."IT'S THAT WILLINGNESS TO GET BACK TO NORMALCY... HELPING DRIVE PRODUCERS AND DR. SPARE FORWARD.  "WE STILL BASE EVERYTHING WE DO ON WHAT HAPPENED MARCH 6. IT KIND OF DEFINES US BUT IT HAS  CREATED TREMENDOUS THANKFULNESS IN OUR HEARTS TOWARDS THE LIVES WE HAVE AND TO THE PEOPLE  WHO HAVE GIVEN US HAY AND MONEY AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE TOLD OUR STORY,"

TEASE
WHEN WE COME BACK,  WE INTRODUCE YOU TO A TEXAS FIREFIGHTER  WHO IS FACING HIS OWN BATTLES AFTER THE FLAMES CEASED.  AND THREE SISTERS WITH ONE BOND WHO LOST EVERYTHING IN THE FIRE  EXCEPT THEIR PASSION FOR THE RANCH. 

TEXAS WILDFIRES
THE NUMBERS ARE STARTLING FROM THE FIRES IN THE SOUTHERN PLAINS LAST  MARCH. MORE THAN 10 THOUSAND HEAD OF CATTLE PERISHED FROM THE  WILDFIRES, AND MORE THAN 18 THOUSAND MILES OF FENCE LOST TO THE  FEROCIOUS FLAMES.  WHILE HEALING IS HAPPENING TODAY, THE SCARS ARE STILL THERE… BOTH ON  THE LAND AND ON THE LIVES WHO FOUGHT HARD TO SAVE THEIR PROPERTY,  LIVESTOCK AND HOMES.  THE WIND... AN EVER PRESENT COMPANION AMONG THE HARD LANDSCAPES OF  THE NORTHERN PANHANDLE OF TEXAS. AS GUSTS RIPPLE SOFTLY ACROSS AN ENDLESS CARPET OF GRASS--CODY  GRAVES IS STILL STANDING IN THE MEMORIES OF MARCH. THE WIND WAS HOWLING. I MEAN IT JUST A BLACK WALL.  CODY, A WORKING COWBOY NEAR LIPSCOMB TEXAS, IS ALSO A VOLUNTEER  FIREFIGHTER. EVERYBODY WOKE UP THE WHOLE THE FIRE DEPARTMENT CALLED EACH OTHER AND SAID KEEP  YOUR EYES OUT BECAUSE THIS IS NOT A GOOD DAY. THE HUMIDITY WAS ZERO AND THE WIND WAS  BLOWING 45-50 MILES AN HOUR. AND DAYS LIKE THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO BE DRIVING OUT THERE IN A  PASTURE LOOKING AT ANYTHING.  GOOD RAINS BROUGHT GOOD GRASS LAST SPRING--AND PLENTY OF FUEL FOR  THE FURY THAT WOULD FOLLOW. IT WAS ABOUT. 2:30 3 O'CLOCK.  AND I SEEN THAT FIRE BUT IT WAS A WAYS AWAY FROM US FOR A  LITTLE BIT.  THE WIND CHANGED AND THAT'S WHEN OUR FIRE DEPARTMENT GOT CALLED OUT.  IT WAS TERRIBLE. THE FLAMES WERE. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU EVER SEEN A  TWIST. A TORNADO BUT THERE WAS TORNADOES IN THAT FIRE. AND THEN WE WERE JUST GOING. 30 TO 40  FOOT UP IN THE AIR AND IT WAS JUST JUMPING. EVEN VISIBLE FROM PASSENGER PLANES ABOVE, THE FIRE NOW RACING ACROSS  THE PRAIRIE AS VOLUNTEERS ARRIVED AT THE FIRESTATION.  I SAID THERE IS NO WAY WE CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS.  WE CAN GET A HUNDRED TRUCKS  AND COULDN'T STOP THIS.  THEY FOUGHT ANYWAY-- DOING ALL THEY COULD, SAVING HOUSES, CUTTING  FENCES, FREEING LIVESTOCK ALL WHILE NEARLY LOSING THEIR OWN STATION IN  THE PROCESS. SHOW LOCK AND SOUND-- SHOW MELTED HUBCAP. PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN FOR FAR LONGER THAN I HAVE. WERE YOU WERE SCARED YOU DIDN'T  KNOW WHAT TO DO. I MEAN THERE WERE SOME FIRE CHIEFS THAT DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. AND WE  WERE JUST DOING ALL WE COULD. AND WE WERE SPREAD OUT EVERYWHERE BECAUSE THERE WAS SO  MUCH FIRE.  THE HOURS AND THE ACRES BURNED ON.  THAT FIRE STARTED ON MONDAY AND IT WAS TUESDAY MORNING ABOUT 3:00 O'CLOCK IN THE  MORNING AND WE GOT CALLED TO ANOTHER FIRE.  IN THE SMOKE AND THE TIREDNESS--CODY'S FIRE TRUCK SLIPPED OFF AN  EMBANKMENT. AND IT KIND OF JARRED ME A LITTLE BIT AND IT WAS HURTING PRETTY BAD BUT WE DIDN'T STOP. 15 HOURS LATER, THE TRUCKS WERE PARKED--BUT CODY'S NEXT STEPS WOULD  BE HIS HARDEST. IT WAS ABOUT A WEEK AFTER THE FIRE AND I COULDN'T WALK VERY WELL AND JUST WASN'T  SLEEPING. SO I FIGURED I'D JUST GO GET IT CHECKED OUT.  AND SO I WENT IN GOT IT CHECKED OUT. HERE  WE ARE.  HIS DIAGNOSIS...SEVERE DAMAGE TO HIS SPINE. A PROBLEM THAT'S NOT NEW--AS  A YOUNG MAN AN ACCIDENT LEFT HIM IN A SIMILAR SITUATION...DOCTORS SAID  HE'D LIKELY NEVER WALK AGAIN. HE PROVED THEM WRONG. IF I RIDE A FIRE TRUCK OR IF I'D TROT A HORSE TOO LONG OR GO TOO FAR HORSEBACK MY BACK KIND  OF OFF AND ON HURTS EVERY NOW AND THEN BUT IT USUALLY GOES AWAY. THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT. HIS BACK IN TANGLES, THIS COWBOY IS DOING MORE SITTING THAN ROPING,  WALKING IS HARD, WORKING AND RIDING IMPOSSIBLE. TRYING TO FIND PEACE. TRYING TO YOU KNOW IT'S KIND OF HARD WHEN YOU CAN'T GO OUT AND  PLAY WITH KIDS A LITTLE BIT. BOYS ARE TAKING IT KIND OF ROUGH  HE PASSES THE TIME WITH HIS HANDS... REFLECTING ON THE FIRES...STILL BURNING THROUGH HIS  THOUGHTS...KNOWING HE'S THE LUCKY ONE. SOME FRIENDS OF MINE WHO GOT KILLED IN THE MCCLEAN FIRE AND I KNEW THE KID THAT GOT  KILLED HERE OUTSIDE OF LIPSCOMB AND IT WAS A TRAGIC DEAL. 13:25  WHEN YOU HEAR A FIRE TAKING  LIVES. IT'S JUST. YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE DONE MORE AND HELPED MORE.  AND YET HELP HAS LIFTED HIS SPIRITS.  I MEAN IT WAS. IT WAS VERY HUMBLING AND YOU KNOW GROWN MEN CRIED. AND PEOPLE THAT  YOU KNOW THAT USUALLY HELP OTHER PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO TAKE THE HELP BUT IT HUMBLING IN A  WAY  YOU KNOW IT MAKES YOU PROUD TO LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY AFTER SEEING ALL THE PEOPLE THAT  COME TOGETHER.  A COMMUNITY HELPING TO RESTORE LIVES, SUPPORTING EACH OTHER-- REBUILDING THE FUTURE-- LIKE THE RAINS THAT SOAKED THESE BLACKENED  FIELDS--  THAT SPIRIT HELPS NEW LIFE SPRING FORTH, ROOTED AND RESILIENT.

TEASE
WHEN WE RETURN,  ONE RANCHER'S MEMORY - CAUGHT ON A WHEAT FIELD IN AS THE FIRE  APPROACHED.  HEAR HER STORY NEXT.

GILES RANCH
THE KANSAS WILDFIRES DID NOT DISCRIMINATE AS IT LEFT A PATH OF RUINS IN  ASHLAND, KANSAS. IN ITS TRACK, A 30-THOUSAND ACRE RANCH, OWNED AND OPERATED BY ONE  FAMILY, 3 SISTERS WITH AN INSEPARABLE BOND.  BETSY JIBBEN SHOWING US HOW THE SISTERS ARE PICKING THEMSELVES BACK  UP AGAIN AND MOVING ON AFTER THE FLAMES CEASED.  SPANNING 30-THOUSAND ACRES IN ASHLAND, KANSAS LIES THE GILES RANCH.  NOW THREE SISTERS REPRESENT THE NEXT GENERATION"I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO THIS. I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A COWBOY." TO JENNY, KATIE AND MOLLY - AND THEIR FAMILIES, MARCH 6, 2017 IS A DAY  WHICH CHANGED THEIR LIVES, WHEN RECKLESS WILDFIRES CHARGED THROUGH KANSAS, ONE ONTO THEIR  RANCH.  THE WAY THE WIND WAS, WE JUST THOUGHT IT WOULD CLIP THE NORTHWEST PART AND THAT WOULD BE  IT,"3 SISTERS - THEIR HOMES GONE AND A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES CONSUMED.  "MY HOME IS BEING BUILT. WE HOPE TO MOVE IN BY CHRISTMAS." WHAT STANDS - IS THE WOODENPLAYSET, UNTOUCHED FROM THE FIRE..  BUT A GLANCE AROUND THE PRAIRIE SHOWS EVIDENCE OF THE INFERNO.  STILL REMAINS OF THE OFFICE FOUNDATION THE CHARRED TAILGATE OF THE TRUSTY OLD FARM PICKUP WITH PLANS TO  RESTORE AND 100 MILES OF FENCE BURNED TO THE GROUND.  "THE MAJORITY OF OUR HAY WAS GONE AND WE LOST ABOUT HALF OF OUR COW HERD,""LOSING COWS WAS THE HARDEST,"THAT DAY WAS BASED ON SPLIT SECOND DECISIONS...ON LIMITED TIME.  "WE STARTED TRYING TO DECIDE IF WE NEED TO MOVE CATTLE TO THE WHEAT PASTURE. (TAKE OUT  MIDDLE). BECAUSE WE WERE CALVING. ONCE YOU MIX YOUR COWS DURING THE MIDDLE OF CALVING,  EVERYONE KNOWS THAT'S HARD TO UNTANGLE,"IT'S A LOSS TEMPERED BY THE FACT NOBODY IN THE FAMILY WAS INJURED... AS KATIE TRIED TO SAVE SOME CATTLE. "I GOT A PHONE CALL FROM JENNY AND SHE SAID- YOU GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE.""SO I FINISHED UNHOOKING THE TRAILER AND SPED OUT OF THERE. WELL, AT THAT POINT THE FIRE WAS ALL  AROUND ME. IT WAS SO SMOKEY, YOU COULD HARDLY SEE,"> YET THE MESSAGE WAS CLEAR TO GET TO THE NEAREST WHEAT FIELD - A  STRUGGLE THE  RANCHER FACED WHEN SHE SAW PREGNANT COWS IN THE PATH  OF FIRE.  I SAID- JEN THEY'RE RIGHT THERE - SHE SAID - DO NOT GET OUT.  30 I HAD MY WIRE PLYERS  RIGHT THERE AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN REALLY EASY TO LET THEM OUT OF THE GATE AND ONTO THE WHEAT FIELD. KATIE SAT ON THE WHEAT FIELD, AS THE FIRE SWEPT CLOSER - "I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'D CALL THEM FIRE BALLS OR FIRE TORNADOES, BUT THEY'D WHIRL AROUND AND HIT  THE TRUCK..."WAITING FOR THE FIRE TO PASS SEEMED LIKE AN ETERNITY WITH HER SISTER  AND DAD ON THE PHONE ALL PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE.  "THE THOUGHT RUNNING THROUGH MY HEAD WAS WELL THIS IS WHAT IT'S LIKE WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO  DIE. BUT I JUST KEPT PRAYING AND I JUST SAID - GOD, IF YOU CAN GET ME THROUGH THIS, I WANT TO SEE  MY LITTLE GIRL AT HER GRADUATION AND WEDDING AND MY SON AT HIS GRADUATION AND WEDDING. THAT'S  WHAT I KEPT PRAYING AND THINKING  ABOUT,"SINCE THAT DAY,  CALVES HAVE BEEN BORN,  GRASS IS SHOWING NEW GROWTH  AND A NEW BABY IS ON THE WAY FOR KATIE AND HER FAMILY DUE IN DECEMBER. "WE WERE DONE HAVING KIDS AND NOW, NOPE, WE HAVE ANOTHER ONE COMING,"YET, THE LOSS OF CATTLE STILL STINGS. THE GILES HAD A PLAN TO REBUILD THEIR HERD NUMBERS BY NOW AFTER  ANOTHER NATURAL DISASTER HIT - WHEN A DROUGHT PLAGUED THE SOUTHERN PLAINS THREE YEARS AGO - THEY  WERE FORCED TO LIQUIDIZE THEIR HERD.  NOW, THE PLAN IS THE REBUILD BY 2019.  "WE ARE PURCHASING BRED HEIFERS WE'LL CALF OUT THIS WINTER AND AFTER THAT OUR PLAN IS TO  RESTOCK FROM WITHIN AND HOLD BACK MORE HEIFERS."A FAMILY THAT'S LOST EVERYTHING STILL STANDS THROUGH ANOTHER  HARDSHIP... "WHEN EVERYTHING YOU HAVE IS GONE, IT'S A PRETTY SURREAL FEELING TO WAKE UP AND KNOW THAT  NOT ONLY IS YOUR HOME GONE, BUT YOUR BUSINESS IS GONE. YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS HOMES ARE  GONE BUT THEN SO MANY PEOPLE FROM SO MANY WALKS OF LIFE HELPED US IN SO MANY WAYS WE  COULDN'T IMAGINE BEING HELPED."THE GILES SISTERS ARE TOUGH AND RESILLANT AND WILL CONTINUE TO PAVE A  PATH FOR THE FUTURE - LIKE THE COWBOYS WHO CARED FOR THE RANCH  BEFORE THEM.  A RANCHER WHOSE A FIRE CHIEF REMEMBERS THE DAY WHICH FOREVER  CHANGED HIS COMMUNITY AND RANCH. 

KANSAS STILL PHOTOS
RANCHERS ARE LIVING WITH THE REALITY OF LIFE AFTER THE FIRE. THE AREA IS  REBUILDING. LIFE IS MOVING ON, BUT THE EXPERIENCES OF THAT DISASTER  REMAIN RAW.  PHOTO JOURNALIST RUSS HNATUSKO SHARES SOME STORIES  THROUGH THE LENS OF HIS CAMERA. IT WAS JUST A HISTORIC DAY THE FIRE DANGER WAS SO HIGH THAT DAY YOU  JUST TRIED TO SAVE THE PEOPLE AND THEN AFTER THE FIRE WENT THROUGH  AND WE GOT SOME HELP THEN WE WENT BACK TO SEE WHAT WAS LEFT WE HAD  NEVER LOST A HOUSE TO A GRASS FIRE UNTIL THAT DAY AND I THINK WE LOST 15  AND THIS HOUSE WE COULD NOT PROTECT WE HAD TO BYPASS TO GO TO TOWN  EVERYTHING WE SEE HERE BURNED AND IT PRETTY MUCH KILLED ALL OF OUR  TREE ROWS OKAY THIS IS SOME DONATED HAY THAT CAME IN ABOUT PROBABLY A  MONTH AFTER THE FIRE THIS IS JUST STACK YOUR THIS IS ONE OF MANY THAT  WE HAVE SCATTERED AROUND THE COUNTY FOR ANYONE THAT NEEDS IT MOST  PEOPLE STAYED BUT WE DID HAVE SOME THAT LEFT AND HERE WE ARE PULLING  UP TO THE FIREHOUSE THIS WAS OUR BASE THROUGH THE WHOLE FIRE I JUST  WANT TO VOLUNTEERS TO GET THEIR DAY I AM EXTREMELY PROUD WE GOT  GUYS FROM OUR YOUNGEST IS 18 OUR OLDEST IS MAYBE IN HIS 70S AND THEY  NEVER BACKED UP WE HAVE STARTED REBUILDING THE HERD I'VE HAD SOME  DONATED I'VE PURCHASED SOME COWS THROUGH THE AUCTIONS THAT'S THE  WAY I'VE DONE MINE WE JUST HEARD ABOUT THE FIRE AND EVERYTHING AND WE  JUST VOLUNTEERED TO COME OUT HERE AND HELP THESE PEOPLE THE FENCING  IS PRETTY CHALLENGING BUT WE'RE ACTUALLY WE'RE GAINING RIGHT ALONG ON  IT WE'VE BUILT A MILE YESTERDAY AND MILE THE DAY BEFORE IT'S PRETTY GOOD  FOR JUST OLD COUNTRY BUMPKINS FROM TENNESSEE WE HAVE HOPES TO HAVE  IT ALL DONE BY EARLY SPRING OR MAYBE EVEN BY THE FIRST OF THE YEAR WE  PROUD TO BE HERE I WAS VERY PROUD OF AMERICA THE WAY THAT THEY COME  IN AND HELPED US OUT BUT NOT ONLY DID THEY BRING HAY THEY BROUGHT  HOPE AND THIS FIRE WAS IT WAS A LARGE FIRE AND IT WAS A REALLY MEAN FIRE  IT MOVED FAST AND DIDN'T CARE WHAT IT BURNED I THINK THAT WE SHOULD BE  THANKFUL FOR BEING WHERE WE'RE AT TODAY IT'S BEEN A REALLY GOOD BAD  EXPERIENCE.  AHEAD ONE RANCHER SHARES HIS GRATITUDE FOR THE SUPPORT FARM  COUNTRY PROVIDED. THAT'S NEXT. 

CLOSE
MANY OF YOU MADE THE TREK AND DELIVERED SUPPLIES TO RANCHERS IN  THESE LOCATIONS OF NEED.  INDIVIDUALS, CHURCHES, FARM  GROUPS AND YOUNG FARMER ORGANIZATIONS  DONATED FENCING SUPPLIES, HAY  EVEN CATTLE AND OR  TIME TO THE  RANCHERS IMPACTED.  AND THOSE FARMERS SAY THEY HAVE SO MUCH GRATITUDE FOR SUPPORT FROM  FARM COUNTRY.  "I WAS VERY PROUD OF AMERICA, THE WAY THEY COME IN AND HELPED US OUT. THERE'S A LOT OF TERMOIL IN AMERICA BUT ANYONE THAT DOUBTED AMERICA SHOULD HAVE  BEEN HERE THE WEEKS FOLLOWING THE FIRE AND SEEN THE PEOPLE. GIVING BACK--BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT AGRICULTURE DOES BEST. LETS HOPE FOR LESS NEED IN THE NEW YEAR. THAT'S ALL THE TIME WE HAVE THIS MORNING. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US  DURING THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF AGDAY .  FOR ALL OF US AT AGDAY. I'M CLINTON GRIFFITHS. HAVE A GREAT DAY. 

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