Roping steers bring $3,500 apiece for fire relief
March 22, 2017
When are roping steers worth $3,500 apiece? When you're using the money to help your neighbors — even though they're 450 miles away.
Logan and Chyanne Allen don't live anywhere near the country burned in a fire that began March 6. They live in Glenwood, Iowa.
Wildfires that began in Kansas eventually burned 833,941 acres in Kansas and Oklahoma, 325,000 acres in Texas and 30,000 acres in Colorado. Proximity wasn't important; the Allens just wanted to help. Like so many ranchers across the U.S., the Allens realized they could be victims of a similar fate at any time.
"I buy potential roping steers and turn them out all winter," Logan Allen said. "Then in the spring I sell them or we rope them."
Allen said when the fires happened he had eight steers ready to sell. "We have roping steers and horses," Allen said, "and those ranchers didn't need any of that, so we were wondering what we could do. I thought we could sell the steers and donate the money.
"We were going to a roping steer sale to sell them, but then I decided to sell them private treaty because I thought they might bring $3,000 to $4,000 at the sale and I might get $10,000 on private treaty.
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"Then I got the idea that maybe we could sell chances for the whole bunch."
The Allens put a flier out that the steers would be put in a drawing. For a $100 ticket, someone would win them all. The response was more than the Allens ever imagined.
"I know we had 289 tickets in there," Allen said. Because he used Paypal to collect money for chances and it charges a fee, there was $28,716 in the pot when the drawing happened on March 19.
"After it was over, I had several people call and tell me they just wanted to put money in the pot, so that was at least $600 more like that."
The Allens made a live Facebook video and drew a name. Dustin Schaefer, a rancher, team roper and graduate of South Dakota State University, was the name drawn. The steers will soon make their home in South Shore, S.D.
The Allens are sending the donation, nearly $30,000, to the Working Ranch Cowboys Association fire relief fund. Allen said he knows the WRCA will use the money where it's needed most and no fees will be subtracted. One hundred percent of the money will go to help fire victims. ❖