The South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund is closing in on $2 million raised since its launch in the wake of an October blizzard. As of late last week, donations totaled nearly $1.8 million including $175,000 given by the Farm Credit System. Fund organizers say 3,300 people have donated from 49 states and several countries outside the U.S.
On November 15, the relief fund began accepting online applications from ranchers who need help. To date, 100 producers have applied. The deadline for completing applications is December 31. Note that people can also nominate producers who could use a hand but may be reluctant to ask for help themselves. Application forms are available on the relief fund website.
The latest report by the South Dakota state veterinarian showed that more than 15,500 animals had been confirmed lost to the storm – mostly cattle but also sheep, horses and bison.
Pictured from left to right: Monty Williams (SD Cattlemen’s Association), Bob Schmidt (Farm Credit Services of America), Regina Jahr (Black Hills Area Community Foundation), Randy Volmer (SD Stockgrowers Association)