On Nov. 2, the Southwest Kansas Starbuck Wildfire team was recognized, at the 2017 K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference, for their efforts this spring when devastating wildfires raged through southwest Kansas, as the lives operations of agriculture producers were affected.

Local agents played a leadership role and continue to assist with response and recovery.

Each agent brought his or her own experience, knowledge and skill set to the effort.

Team members served key roles in organizing response groups and resources.

They used personal and professional networks to relay information about where help was needed.

Agents helped organize the human resources, housing, meals, clothing, and cleaning supplies for fire victims.

Another individual coordinated media releases and a resource website for people affected by the fire.

One of the team members is a volunteer firefighter who was on sight between bouts of battling flames and kept the others apprised of the situation.

After the fire, the group assisted producers and the USDA personal with necessary forms.

Public meetings were hosted to assist producers with the next steps in recovery. The team’s work continues as recovery is an ongoing process.

Members of the team include Agriculture and Natural Resources Agents: Andrea Burns, Ford County, Brice Gibson, Clark County, Aaron Sawyers, Comanche County, Elly Sneath, Meade County, Kurt Werth, Gray County, as well as Comanche County Family Consumer Science Agent Tori Selzer.

K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans.

Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county extension offices, experiment fields, area extension offices and regional research centers statewide.

Its headquarters is on the K-State campus in Manhattan.