Truck drivers and ranchers help ranchers during Texas wildfires

MONTGOMERY, Alabama – The Alabama Trucking Association and the Alabama Cattlemen's Association have joined forces to help Texas cattle ranchers in need.

Wildfires have ravaged the Texas Panhandle, where about 85% of the state's cattle are raised. In response, Alabama ranchers sent 546 bales of hay to the Texas Panhandle over several weeks, all by truck from Alabama, the groups said.

“It makes me proud that our ranching and transportation communities can work together to get something done so quickly,” said Alabama’s Agriculture Commissioner Rick Pate.

The ranchers donated $25,000 to the Alabama Trucking Association Foundation, which promotes highway safety, invests in research to improve infrastructure and supply chains, and provides scholarships for those pursuing careers in the transportation industry, the press release said.

“Whenever there is a crisis, truckers are there,” said Mark Colson, ATA President and CEO. “Alabama truckers responded immediately and delivered much-needed hay to Texas, showing our solidarity with the communities and industries affected.”

The fire, which broke out in late February, was caused by a rotting power pole that broke off and dropped power lines onto dry grass, the Associated Press reported. It was the largest wildfire in the state's history, killing two people and burning more than 1 million acres. burned in several districts.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller thanked both associations for their efforts.

“I want to thank our fellow states on a grand scale for having our backs,” he said. “Their prayers and assistance have been a source of strength for our communities struggling with the impact of the fires.”