OKLAHOMA CITY - To date, $850,000 has been donated to the Fire Relief fund set up by the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation, a 501(c)3, to aid Oklahoma ranchers following the wildfires in early March.

"We've received donations literally from all over the country and contributions are still rolling in daily," said Jeff Jaronek, coordinator of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation.

In Oklahoma, more than 310 thousand acres burned causing a wide variety of losses to livestock, pastures, hay, fences, facilities and homes. It has been estimated that the economic impact of the fire exceed $16 million.

"The healing process will be slow, but I'm proud to be part of this industry that is quick to help each other when times are tough," Jaronek said. "We want the contributors to know that 100 percent of the fire relief donation funds will be distributed directly to ranchers affected by the wildfires."

The distribution process starts with an application. Documentation should be attached to completed applications, such as: USDA-FSA Form 578, USDA-FSA program applications, receipts for veterinary care, receipts/estimates for fence repair, receipts for special feed purchase, etc. The application is available at www.okcattlemensfoundation.org.

"All cattle producers are eligible, and encouraged, to apply," Jaronek said.

Applications are due May 1, and will be reviewed by a committee to distribute the funds in an equitable manner. Assistance checks will be issued within 90 days of the fire, according to Jaronek. 

for more information, or to donated funds, persons interested may visit www.okcattlemensfoundation.org or send a check with Fire Relief in the memo to Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation, P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148.