Livestock producers benefit from hay donation

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Frank Reznicek, manager of the Kaechele Ranch near Wallis, woke up one night with the realization that he needed to “pay it forward.”

“I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep,” Reznicek said. “The Lord just laid this on my heart and I got to thinking that we should repay the favor we received during Hurricane Harvey.”

In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey left 35-plus inches of rain on the ranch.

Reznicek said that 97 percent of the ranch, which stretches across Austin, Colorado and Wharton counties was under water — anywhere from six inches to six feet.

They lost between 1,500 and 2,000 rolls of hay and miles of fences, but with the help from other cattlemen, they were able to manage all the cattle after Harvey left.

Reznicek, who manages the ranch that has been in his wife’s family since 1899, explained that he wanted to help drought-stricken ranchers in the Hill Country.

He contacted Joe Fuller, a National Farm Production Consultant Leader with Purina Animal Nutrition, to help identify producers who could benefit from rice straw hay to help feed their hungry cattle.

Fuller, who also happens to live in Gillespie County, knew first-hand how the drought was affecting local ranchers.

“Frank was so appreciative of the help he received after Harvey and realized what a difference help could make,” Fuller said. “He just wanted to help others and he did that. He is a good man.”

About 34 different producers in Gillespie County benefitted from the hay thanks to Reznicek.

The donation included 22 truckloads of hay that totaled over 600 bales weighing about 1,000 pounds each.

The only cost to the recipients was to pay for the freight on getting the hay from the Kaechele Ranch to Gillespie County.

The hay was delivered here from Aug. 3 through Sept. 7.

“I know what I’ve gone through in the past with droughts and floods,” Reznicek said. “I felt like this was one way I could help my fellow producers.”

“It is always rewarding when you receive help,” he said. “And it is always rewarding when you can help others.”