Farm Bureau members donate hay to Nebraska farmers

IFB donates $5,000 to Nebraska Farm Bureau's relief fund.

By Chris Anderson

All it took was one look at a Facebook photo of Nebraska flood devastation, and Jess Heavner took action. Tom Hoben followed suit after talking with his farmhand, Tara Frahm, who’s a Nebraska native.

Heavner, who raises cattle in Pike County, and Hoben, a Knoxville cattleman, knew immediately they needed to help their Nebraska counterparts. So far, their efforts have resulted in delivery of five truckloads of hay.

“We lost four cows and three calves this year due to muddy conditions. That spurred me to take hay to Nebraska,” said Heavner, who raises purebred Simmental show cattle with his dad, Daniel. “In ’93, we were hit hard by flooding. It was no comparison to this.”

After contacting Nebraska Farm Bureau, Heavner delivered a load of 19 bales to a collection point near Verdigre, Nebraska. Roads leading to farms remain flooded, preventing direct deliveries. Area cattlemen travel to the collection point and take a bale or two back to their farms via tractor.

He plans to soon deliver two more loads with hay contributions from fellow Pike-Scott Farm Bureau member Jeff Hayden and Madison County Farm Bureau members and show cattle partners Beth and Brad Dorsey of Moro.

Hoben, who, like Heavner, donated hay for Kansas wildfire relief in 2017, first talked with Frahm about the Nebraska situation. He then sparked the donation idea with David Dare at Nutrien Ag Solutions in Galesburg, who had assisted with wildfire relief efforts.

“I took a soil sample in for testing. Dave and I just made conversation. He called the next morning and by 4 p.m. we were loading hay,” said Hoben, who has a cow-calf herd of 170 animals.

Three trucks loaded with more than 50 bales arrived recently in Nebraska.

“We’re all in this together. I look at this as paying it forward,” said Heavner.

Illinois Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors earlier donated $5,000 to Nebraska Farm Bureau’s relief fund.  

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