We spent several hours in Schuyler dispersing items. Many grateful people were there to pick up and we enjoyed meeting and hearing their experiences.
We unloaded and loaded back up Easter baskets, family tub of supplies, saddles, halters, fencing, salt blocks, wire, horse feed etc. One thing I learned – a weird phenonium. As you transfer 50# bags of horse feed from the back of one pick up to the other, the bags increase in weight as you go along. There’s been a study from the University of BS that documents this.
From there we headed to Columbus where the convoy became a logistical moving puzzle. Kerry Tucker did an amazing job shuffling semis and trucks to their perspective producer. Many came to the location where we circled the wagons to pick up their supplies.
Then Kerry sent us off indifferent directions to deliver our items.
We had round straw bales that we delivered to a farm that had beef cattle. The river is approximately 1.5 miles from where we unloaded the straw. Their property covers the area up to the river. They lost most of their fencing and a few calves that drowned.
We were one of three trucks to unload there. Once we were unloaded we split apart again.
One truck headed north to spend the night at a friend’s house and then on to MI the next day.
The other semi left to head to Iowa for the evening and then back to Michigan.
We went back to Schuyler to meet up with the remaining drivers that were spending the night there. We arrived before some of the others so we dropped the trailer – thanks Craig for guarding it – and we drove to the river to see the damage.
After we went through four Closed Road signs we could see the effects of the flooding more there than anywhere else.
There is feet and feet of sand and silt on top of the land. We were told it will take about $8300.00 an acre to scrape and remove the sand so farmers can replant.
While the damage isn’t as visible as when the fires broke out there will be long lasting issues. There are miles and miles of fencing that needs to be replaced – many of those pastures we won’t see driving through the towns.
There is feed in storage bins that are rotting or washed away that needs to be replace. Animals in all stages of growth are lost. It takes time to build up a herd – especially with the genetics coming into play.
The clean-up, repair, rebuild and carry on will be a long-time process. The $$ will be costly.
Others left from where they had delivered their last load.
We all were hot, tired and dirty and hungry. We went to supper with one of our recipients. It was nice to sit and relax with each other a little. And we were treated to supper by the rancher who joined us.
We said our good-byes before heading to our rooms and falling into bed.
It was a long, tiring, hot, emotional day. There was great pleasure in doing this and many grateful hearts on the receiving and giving side of the equations.
This morning we were blessed to find out that someone had covered out hotel expenses.
So many blessings to come from this – some we will not know of for a long time coming and maybe never at all.
Check out Farm and Rancher Aid from West Michigan facebook page to see more pictures and read more experiences.
Stay tuned for my final - Nebraska Bound Observations and Reflections.