Last year, Joel Milford was at Kansas State when wildfires ravaged southwest Kansas in March.

A native of Fowler, Milford wanted to use his hobby to help the people of Ashland.

"I had been drawing since I was six," he said. "There was a photo that Cole Gardiner took of one of his cows that had given birth after the wildfires. They later realized she had been in labor while the fires were happening around them."

Milford then did a graphite drawing of the photo and put the drawing up for live auction.

The proceeds of the auction went to Ashland fire relief with two donors coming in with $35,000 for the print.

"We then sold others and in total raised about $75,000 to $100,000 in gross sales," Milford said.

This time around, Milford was given a photo of the cow and calf, six months after the fires and drew another print.

"From this, I drew "Starbuck Survivors," Milford said. "With this drawing I wanted to capture the hope and perseverance it takes to get through a natural disaster like the Starbuck Fire.

"We also added a small image digitally of "From the Ashes" in the lower left corner on each print. I believe it tells a story of what they, and many others, went through. It is difficult to completely understand the loss unless you see it firsthand."

The first print of the "Starbuck Survivors" will go up for auction Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on Milford's Facebook page.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds of print No. 1 and portions of remaining prints will go to the Ashland Community Foundation for their ongoing financial needs to assist the community as a whole.

"There will be 500 signed and numbered limited edition prints with the first print going up for auction," Milford said.

Milford added that additional prints will be on sale for $200 plus tax and shipping with the auction running for two weeks on print No. 1.

"The prints are 18x24 and are on German etching paper," he said. "It's a higher quality paper to have prints on.

"With having a piece of the first drawing on this one, it just ties the story together."

To take part in the live auction for print No. 1, visit Milford's Facebook page, Joel Milford-Wildlife Artist at

To order additional prints, email Milford with your name, shipping/mailing address and phone number to

An email confirmation along with payment information will be sent.

For further questions, contact Milford at the email provided.

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