MODR Hay Shipments to Texas Help Both Animals and Fire Victims

MODR Hay Shipments to Texas Help Both Animals and Fire Victims

Tharran Gaines – MODR Public Information Officer

Disasters come in all forms and sizes and nearly always have a negative impact on the community that’s affected … either directly or indirectly. It was the latter earlier this year in the Texas Panhandle, where range fires burned an estimated 850,000 acres in two days and impacted nearly 65,000 head of cattle.

As Scottie Stice, State Director for Southern Baptist Texas Convention’s Disaster Relief Ministry, explained, nearly 7,000 head of cattle were killed in the fires. And while some farmers were able to ship animals to other areas for grazing, several thousand were still left without pasture or feed … which, in turn, affected the livelihood of hundreds of ranchers.

In response, Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief (MODR) was one of four states that was quick to respond by collecting a total of 354 big round bales of hay that were shipped to farms and ranches in the Texas panhandle. According to Gaylon Moss, director of Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief, over 200 bales of hay had already been shipped from Missouri to Texas by the middle of March, with the first loads delivered on March 13. By the time the operation ended a few weeks later, a total of 11 semi-truck loads of hay had been shared with those in need.

“Most of the hay was donated from Missouri farmers, while a couple additional loads were purchased with donations earmarked for the Texas Fire Response,” he says. “So, we appreciate the sacrifice from all those made donations, as well as from Mike and Ruth Beasley of First Baptist Church in Plattsburg; Jim Browning of First Baptist Church in Charleston, and Tim Choplin of Norfleet Baptist Church for delivering the loads.”

One of those who donated several round bales to the cause was Mike Henbest, a member of First Baptist Church in Cassville, who has a cattle operation in southern Missouri.

“I don’t see myself as doing anything special,” he humbly admitted. “The pastures got green earlier than normal this year, so I didn’t need all the haylage I had on hand. This was all triticale that had been put up as silage bales for winter feed. Since it was baled as high-moisture feed wrapped in plastic, it really wouldn’t carry over very well until next winter, so I was happy to see someone use it.”

Stice says the donations from Missouri and the other states were routed through depots in cooperation with Texas A & M AgriLife, which is comprised of the Texas A & M Extension Service and several Texas A & M University System members. AgriLife, in turn, made sure the hay was delivered to the worst-hit areas, which included the areas around Canadian and Pampa, Texas.

“We’re grateful to all those who helped with the Texas Fire Response project,” Gaylon Moss concluded. “Help, Hope, and Healing is not just a tagline; it is what the Lord does through us, no matter what the situation.”

If you would like to give to help support MODR’s work with this initiative, go to and select Texas Fire Response from the drop down menu.