Ohio farmers help rebuild Clark County

Volunteers also donated hay to local ranchers.

ASHLAND, Kan. (KSNW) – Those who lost so much to those wildfires are getting help from total strangers as volunteers from across the nation continue to pour into Clark County to help wherever they can.

One group even drove in from Ohio over the weekend to lend a hand.

“We’ve been out helping with some cleanup projects on some ranches around town,” said Rose Hartschuh.

She and her group are far from home.

“We have been tearing out fences,” said Amanda Kramer.

They’re helping those who lost everything.

“We’ve been building fence and taking down fence,” said Darren Bush.

It’s what a group of Ohio farmers have been doing since Saturday — helping Ashland ranchers rebuild.

“We started hearing about the stories out in this area of people that have been affected by the wildfires,” said Hartschuh, “and it seemed like there was a lot of work to do.”

Hartschuh and her husband put the word out on social media, and as it spread, so did those who wanted to help.

By the time they loaded up, they were joined by about 20 farmers from across Ohio.

“It has been a great experience,” said Kramer. “The joy and the outpouring from the community has been unreal.”

The reality when they arrived hit home.

“You see all these acres that are just burned,” said Bush, “and I couldn’t imagine if that happened around my house. I mean, it would just be devastating.”

The Ohio farmers also brought hay and other supplies for ranchers. They say they didn’t know anyone in Clark County last week and just wanted to help strangers in need.

“We just felt that if the tables were turned and something had happened to us that people we didn’t know would be knocking on our door to help,” said Hartschuh.

The group of volunteers started their long trip back to Ohio today and know the full recovery for many in Clark County will take months and that more volunteers will be needed.

“There’s definitely going to be projects to do here,” said Hartschuh, “so I would encourage people to find a way that they can pitch in.”

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