Recovery process continues for ranchers hit by Oct. blizzard - KOTA Territory News

Recovery process continues for ranchers hit by Oct. blizzard


"You go out there all day and find five, six, seven head," said Adam Gruble. "And then the next day go out and do the same thing over and over again."

For two months, the Gruble family has been counting their losses from the early October blizzard.

"We're getting back to a nor mal pace now." said Adam.

Adam, Lucas, and their father, Chris have had a very busy start to their winter, something they didn't expect. 

"In January it's one thing to have a blizzard like that," said Lucas. "But the beginning of October that's just unheard of." 

Like many ranchers in Western South Dakota, that blizzard caused the Grubles a major setback. 

"We have to borrow money to buy the replacements and everything so it's going to be a few years paying that off," said Chris who's accounted for all his losses, but the dollar value may take months to add up. 

"We still don't know what the outcomes going to be next spring when we start calving if some of them lost their calves," said Chris "And the genetics that we develop in our cattle you know those older cows, we just had them where they were really producing the quality of calves we wanted." 

While financial setbacks are hard enough on the family, Lucas and Adam say coping with the loss of cattle they raised from birth has also proven a challenge.

"You walk by and there's this cow and you see her and you know you've seen her every year calve," said Lucas. "And she has awesome calves and you just love the hell out of this cow and she's dead."

"We raised that calf," said Adam. "We know who the mom is we know who it was fathered to, we know what calves it's produced we know who it's bread to your going dang that was a good cow."

Chris says he doesn't think he'll apply for the Rancher Relief Fund because he knows other ranchers took a harder hit than his family and thinks if he can get by the money should go to someone else.

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