UC farm advisor inspires spirit of giving

After the Rumsey Fire scorched nearly 40,000 acres of Napa County rangeland in October, UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor Morgan Doran inspired the agriculture community to help out fellow rural residents in need.

Grass fires on rangeland can be disastrous for cattle ranchers. Flames quickly gobble up the livestock’s food supply.

"I saw that some ranchers had lost 100 percent of their forage," Doran said. "They were depending completely on hay. I thought there must be something Cooperative Extension could do."

Doran decided to spread word of the ranchers’ plight to rouse donations. And farmers responded.

"Farmers donated about 100 tons of hay from as far away as Stockton," said Lawrence Clement, director of the Solano County UC Cooperative Extension office.

"It took the pressure off," said Susan Hodges, who with her husband Larry runs a 100-pair cow-calf operation in Napa County. "Before we knew the donations were coming, we bought hay. We were overextended, but we needed to have enough to feed the cows."

Clement said he was pleased about Doran’s efforts to coordinate the donations.

"This is what Cooperative Extension is all about," Clement said. "We respond to the needs of our clientele and do anything to help keep them efficient. Morgan is sensitive to the needs and issues related to his clientele. He responded quickly and helped ranchers who experienced this unfortunate loss."

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