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Drought-Stricken Farmers Send Relief to Drought-Stricken Africans With AM-Drought Rdp Bjt

June 17, 1988

COLGATE, N.D. (AP) _ Farmers suffering from what may be the state’s worst dry spell since the 1930s are shipping $6,500 worth of their grain to drought-stricken farmers 8,000 miles away in Niger.

″Crops aren’t that great here, but the way I feel about it is if you concentrate on somebody else’s problems that are worse than yours, your own problems ... your own disasters are much less,″ said Duane Burchill of Page.

Some 1,666 bushels of wheat were brought to a seed cleaning plant Thursday and placed in 100-pound bags for shipment to central Africa. The wheat is going by rail to Houston, and then to Africa.

About $2,000 in cash and pledges were received from area churches for the project. The grain is being donated through Church World Services-CROP in Fargo to meet a request by leaders in Niger.

Because of the drought, wheat prices have increased from about $2.80 a bushel, when the commitments were made, to about $4 a bushel.

″It turned out to be a dramatic thing, when the crop looks so bad, when prices look so good,″ said Roger Livdahl, Fargo coordinator of Church World Services-CROP. ″It turned out to be much more of a sacrifice than it originally been.″

″Well, I don’t know if it’s a sacrifice,″ said Burchill, ″because all the wheat we own ... all that we have is God’s anyway.″

The grain will be given to children and used to pay workers to dig water wells to help Niger survive its drought, Livdahl said.

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