The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jul. 18, 2019

Area farmers drive donations to Nebraska

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A group of area farmers is on its way to Nebraska with a caravan loaded with donated items to help farmers there who are suffering from ongoing flooding and a blizzard that hit the area this week.

A pickup driven by Tony Miller pulls out of the Ramblers Roost en route to Nebraska. photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Tony Miller, one of the organizers of the local relief effort, said a total of 18 vehicles, which includes pickups pulling trailers full of hay and other items, as well as semi-trailer rigs, are involved in the effort.

“A couple of us thought we would get a few loads and head out, and this turned into what we have,” Miller said of the relief caravan loaded with donated items.

Miller said donations came from around the area. “We’ve got a lot of hay, feed, fencing, minerals, milk replacer, and a few personal items, too, but we tried to stick to the ag side of stuff.”

The caravan also includes tools to deal with mechanical issues while on the trip.

Miller said the group started talking about doing something for Nebraska farmers about a week and a half ago, and decided this weekend was the latest they could go and still be able to do their own spring planting. This group, while larger, is the second group of area farmers to take relief items to Nebraska, Miller added. 

After sending out a request for donations, organizers started doing some research to see where in Nebraska they would go.

Tony Miller provides last-minute information to those driving to Nebraska with donated items.

Miller said they decided on Verdegre, Nebraska, a town in northern Nebraska that was one of the hardest hit by the flooding, but has received less aid than other parts of the state.

The convoy, which includes approximately 25 people, first met at the Ramblers Roost truck stop on Lincoln Highway and, after a prayer was said, headed out about 8:30 Friday morning. A trooper from the Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was also there to escort the group to the Ohio-Indiana state line

The group planned to stop overnight Friday in Adair, Iowa, where Miller said they had 15 motel rooms reserved for the night, and then reach Verdegre on Saturday. Miller said the group had a Plan B — Ithaca, Nebraska — if the recent blizzard made the Verdegre area too difficult to reach.

Miller said the decision of which town to go to was to be made Friday night after some more conversations with contacts in Nebraska.

In addition to donations, each of those taking the trip to Nebraska is giving up a day of work to make the journey.

“Everybody going has full-time jobs, so they’re all taking the day off,” he noted. Plans are to arrive back home sometime Sunday.

POSTED: 04/13/19 at 8:21 am. FILED UNDER: News