Ohio convoy

THE 18 trucks that set out from northeast Ohio picked up even more trucks as the convoy headed to Nebraska.

It started out as a convoy 18 strong from northeast Ohio, and it grew as the trucks drove toward Nebraska.

Vehicles from across the United States are converging on the flood-ravaged state, filled with hay, livestock feed, food and household goods.

You name it and it was in their convoy, said volunteer Russ Meyer of AM Trucking and Grading in Ashland, Ohio. His church sent clothes, furniture and food, and his mom, chicken supplies.

“My dad told me a long time ago. You don’t have to live next to a guy for you to be his neighbor,” he said. “They were giving us big thumbs up and talking to us on the radio. Everybody is happy to see us.”

Meyer and his group, which included his brother Neal, pulled in to Verdigre on Tuesday. While they were unloading, another semi arrived filled with toilet paper, diapers and other baby supplies.

Meyer stayed an extra day to help deliver about 48 big bales of hay to a needy farmer in Columbus.

The Verdigre Stockyards is organizing farm supply drop-offs and then pushing them out as needed. Owner Larry Cooper said it’s a way to help local producers, who are vital to the local economy.

As of Sunday, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture reported 186 donations, including hay, labor, equipment and fencing, and 59 requests for help.

Meyer said his family was glad to be part of the effort.

“The position me and my family are in,” he said, “we have the means and capability of helping people who don’t.”

Cooper has been helping to disperse needed farm items around that area.

He said the biggest need going forward is fencing supplies.

“It takes about $10,000 to put in a quarter mile of fence,” Cooper said. “We have producers along the Niobrara who lost miles and miles. It’s going to be a huge burden to them to replace all that.’’

Farmers and ranchers in need of assistance should contact their local emergency manager. For more information, contact 800-831-0550. The department said current primary needs are hay, fencing, volunteers and equipment.

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