Ranchers start to clean up after storm; how you can help - KOTA Territory News

Ranchers start to clean up after storm; how you can help


It was a terrible week for livestock.

"These cows had drifted about 5 miles south in the blizzard and we brought them back and they seem to be doing pretty good now," says Jim Baker, of Baker Ranch. 

The blizzard that rocked Western South Dakota left displaced herds, broken fences and dead cows. For Baker, now it's time to clean it all up. "You can't dwell on the dead ones. You have to take care of the live ones and clean up the mess and figure out what we're going to do to continue," said Baker. 

Baker says he lost 10% of his cows, his brother lost between 50% to 75% and his neighbors faired even worse. "We have neighbors that almost lost everything," said Baker. 

But the ranchers out near Hermosa aren't leaving each other high and dry. "We live in an awful good community. Everyone is always there to help each other," said Baker.

So they'll be helping each other clean up. "We have some cattle in a dam, floating, dead cattle that we're going to have to get cleaned out. After that we have neighbors that are having the same problems as us, so we'll help them and they'll be helping us I'm sure," said Baker. 

But it's possible  not every ranch will survive the devastating loss suffered by South Dakotan ranchers. "There is a very distinct possibility that this will ruin some of the ranches that got the worst losses without some kind of assistance some way," said Baker.

The South Dakota Cattleman's, Stock Growers, and Sheep Growers Associations want to help those ranchers devastated by the storm through the creation of the South Dakota Rancher Relief fund.

To donate to the fund click here and search "Rancher Relief Fund."

Checks can also be made to Rancher Relief Fund, PO Box 231, Rapid City SD 57709. 

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