MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — Some local farmers in Jackson County are helping their own in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
They are organizing targeted relief efforts for Southwest Florida ranchers and farmers affected by the storm.
Garrison Glass and Bud Basford are just 18 years old. They have organized their own relief drive all by themselves.
“We’re old enough to appreciate all the help sent up here after Hurricane Michael and know how much it meant to have the help and how much they’d appreciate us helping,” Glass said.
They are determined to help those affected by Hurricane Ian, particularly ranchers.
“When you think of Florida, you think of beaches and subdivisions and golf courses,” Basford said. “But there’s a lot more cattle in Florida than people like to think of. And so when people send relief to Florida, they are thinking about all the people and everything and they don’t think about all the cattle that we also have.”
Glass explained how a major storm can displace a rancher’s livelihood.
“During a hurricane, stuff falls on fences, takes fences out and cows have no boundary at that point,” Glass said. “They can just wander out wherever. So, everybody’s in a scramble right now to get their cows found and get them back where they’re supposed to be and get fences up to contain them in there where they should be.”
Basford and Glass are leaving for Wauchula Thursday. They will be helping out ranchers there until Sunday night.
The boys aren’t the only Jackson County farmers looking to help out.
Mark Foran and Lee Bigham are organizing a farm equipment supply drive for this weekend.
“If you’ve got any kind of supplies, any kind of thing to help build fence, pliers, leather gloves,” Foran said. “If you can bring it and donate it to help these ranchers get back on their feet, please do.”
Foran and Bigham are headed to Arcadia next Thursday with all the supplies contributed.
The ranching supply drive will be at the Tractor Supply Co. in Marianna this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.