The Impact of Recent Wildfires on Agricultural Communities

Yesterday afternoon my dad phoned me and asked me to go on Facebook and view a page titled Thank a Farmer. The page had posted an image of recent wildfires that have plagued several Southern states – the statement is as follows:

“Last week tragedy struck four states in our agricultural community but we have seen little to nothing in the National media and non bordering states. Maybe a ten second blurb on TV about grass fires but nothing on the devastation faced by the families living there.
We see reports on tragedy everyday in other parts of the world or in major metropolitan areas but nothing on what happened in the firestorm that consumed rural farming communities in CO, KS, TX and OK.
Local news in these states have had reports on this and if you live in one of these states you might have seen something. If you live outside of these communities most likely you have seen very little to nothing about the event and more importantly the aftermath.
If you are in the Ag community you know about the 6 brave souls who died rushing into the fires to save their animals, their homes and their way of life. You’ll know about the people that have lost their life’s work in one day and the homes their ancestors grew up in. You’ll know about the farmers and ranchers who immediately went into the smolder, tears in their eyes, with rifles to put down their suffering animals and any wildlife left after the firestorm. Many finding their animals burned beyond recognition and running out of bullets.
It is a horrific tragedy worth National coverage but outside our Ag community, there is little to nothing. That is a tragedy itself.
We have over 57,000 who have liked this page and I’m asking those who are farmers and ranchers to share their stories in the comments so as to let others know what has happened. If the media won’t show the respect this story deserves we can!
Our prayers our with those who have lost so much and with those who are sending help all across our nation!
For those that Farm and Ranch…Thank You for all that you do and we are with you!
Rhonda Swanson
Thank A Farmer

It is apparent that these wildfires have provoked absolute tragedy in the areas impacted. The post had linked other reports on the incident throughout the comments affiliated with the image Thank a Farmer initially posted, and one posting in particular was quite disturbing as it depicted images from a photo-journalist of the dead livestock resulting from the fire.

The reasoning behind my father phoning me and asking me to view this post was because he asked me to compose a blog addressing the lack of attention issued toward the agricultural community and industry in terms of news and media. Had it not been for my dad asking me to observe this posting by Thank a Farmer, I likely would not have heard of this devastating incident, and I feel as though a majority of persons would not be informed of the incident either.

I am unsure of why farming and agriculture fails to receive recognition in media and broadcasting, however I am confident in stating that it absolutely requires more acknowledgement. Farming is such a crucial industry in contemporary society, and farmers and the industry itself deserve significantly more attention considering the extent to which both serve and provide persons across the world. So many individuals possesses inaccurate perceptions of agriculture and what it consists of, and the only way to abolish these incorrect interpretations is to shed some light on the reality of farming and the occupation of farmers.

Agriculture is something that is of great importance to me because of my affiliation and involvement with it throughout my life. My heart goes out to the farmers impacted by recent wildfires in the South, and with the attention and awareness of others perhaps we can generate more awareness of this tragedy.


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