Senator John Tune spoke with a group of ranchers today to discuss livestock loss during the blizzard. He says the Farm Bill is needed even more after the catastrophe.
Jacob Rausch is amongst the ranchers who lost cattle during the storm. " It's like losing a bunch of friends or losing a dog but it's not just a pet because when you lose it you lose you lively hood."
He says "it's a gut wrenching deal, I don't know, the days after the storm were probably the worst days I've ever experienced. At thirty years old Rausch is just getting started in the ranching business. "The expenses are so great that is makes it that much tougher " he says. The third generation rancher says they lost between 180 to 220. " It gives you such a helplessness feeling because it's such a storm that there was nothing we could of done about it" Rausch says.
Many ranchers like Rausch are feeling helpless. They need the farm bill to be passed. And Senator John Thune agrees, and is lending his support to the ranchers. Thune says "there's an additional intensity I think for those of us in south Dakota because of the impact on our livestock producers as result of the storm and the assistance that available in the new farm bill so we're pushing, driving it hard, trying to get it completed in a timely way"
Rausch says "as it looks right now, I won't have enough calves out to
continue with ranching."
While his future is uncertain, Rausch and others like him
will have to wait for the Farm Bill to pass. "If the farm bill passes it'll mean that I've got a chance
and hope ranching, and do it the rest of my life like I want to" he says.
The Farm Bill has disaster relief programs which can give producers up to 75 percent of their losses back. But there is a o100,000 dollar limit per operation.