A Delta Junction-area farmer is cleaning up from a barn fire that killed hundreds of chickens and other livestock that provided most of her livelihood. Brandy McClean is seeking help in an effort to save her business.
McLean was picking through the charred debris of what’s left of her barn last week, looking for anything that can be salvaged after the fire destroyed the structure on April 20th.
The fire eliminated her main livelihood, 500 laying hens, and many ducks, geese and turkeys that she also kept in the 16-by-32-foot, two story structure. It also destroyed bags of feed, hardware, and pretty much every tool she has.
McLean built the barn with her own money, and some donated by her parents. She’s been raising chickens for about eight years now, and has operated the Triple McLean Farms, just outside of Delta, for about 12 years, with the help of mainly her two sons, 8-year-old Codey, and Morgen, age 13.
She’s a woman of slight stature, 37 years of age, and she’s obviously a tough and dedicated farmer who’s determined to stay in business. But the barn wasn’t insured, and she must build a new one. So she’s asking for help, in the form of donations – cash, tools, feed, all the stuff needed to run a farm.
“I hate asking for help. I don’t do it, you know?” she said. “But this is how I raise my kids, and I have to” ask for help. “It’s kind of a Catch-22, because I’ve got to rebuild in order to make the money to support my family. But I don’t have the money to rebuild and do it.”
Despite the setback, she says she can’t stop to complain or recoup, because she’s got to keep working – especially now, the busiest time of year for a farmer.
“There’s always so much work to do,” she said. “Especially, with this late spring, y’know, getting to our crops planted, and getting the birds growing. And now we have more work to do to try and salvage and rebuild. And we will. We’re still in business. We want people to know we’re still in business.”
Read the full story and hear the interview with Brandy here:
- The nursing supervisor on shift at Bartlett Regional Hospital said the hospital had not received any patients related to the fire as of about 7:20 p.m.
- The fate of the state’s budget remains uncertain. It remains to be seen how the House and Senate will go about negotiating compromises.
- The interview process to choose Haines’ next municipal leader began Monday morning. Local residents Debra Schnabel and Brad Ryan are the two finalists for the borough manager job. They answered questions from borough staff — their potential employees — during the first round of interviews.
- About 30 different organizations and individuals put the fair together, including environmentalists and wildlife advocates.