You may remember a post, back in early October about a “freak snowstorm” that hit South Dakota and left ranchers across the western part of the state in desperate need.
The snowstorm, “Atlas,” killed more than 15,000 head of cattle, sheep, horses and bison in the western part of the state. The first shipments of donated cattle began arriving in South Dakota last week and continue. Stories like this remind me of why I love agriculture and the people involved.
One report this week from FoxNews.com included the headline – “Holy cow! Farmers donate cattle after South Dakota blizzard kills livestock”
The opening line of the story says, “Hope on hooves is arriving in South Dakota, one heifer at a time.”
Also quoted in the story, “The support from other states has been phenomenal,” Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, told FoxNews.com early Monday. “We have volunteers from in the state who have helped with cleanup, we have people from surrounding states who shipped heifers and about $1.5 million has been donated to the Rancher Relief Fund.”
To read the entire story, visit http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/25/donated-cattle-sent-to-south-dakota-following-freak-blizzard-that-killed/.
People from across the nation have come together to support the ranchers in this area, donating to various charities to help out the victims – like the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund and Heifers for S. Dakota.
The Heifers for S. Dakota organization has been documenting their success and donations through their Facebook account. To view and “like” their page, visit https://www.facebook.com/pledgeheifer.
One post from Nov. 19th said, “Over 600 head of quality animals will be delivered within this next week. Over 300 donor's giving livestock. Untold hundreds donating monetarily. More than a dozen truckers giving of their time and equipment with several of them donating all of their fuel as well. More than a dozen veterinarians donating their services. More than a dozen brand inspectors donating their services. Local businesses covering the expenses where they are needed. Numerous individuals volunteering their time and giving of themselves to extraordinary lengths. All of this without a penny being taken out for compensation by the organizations. And one storm having wreaked it's havoc which made this necessary.
This is Heifers for South Dakota. We are merely a group of like-minded individuals trying to love our neighbor as ourselves. And folks we will make a difference to the more than 40 recipients chosen.”
Additionally, many Kansas ranch families have donated animals to the relief efforts. While, not all of us can physically be in South Dakota to assist in the clean-up efforts, we are trying to make the devastating loss a little better for the families’ affected by the storm.
As we gather for Thanksgiving, let’s take time to be thankful for all that we have, as well as take the time to say a prayer for the people elsewhere who will need strength to get through the upcoming days, weeks and years after “Atlas.”
Until Next Time,