Rancher Relief Fund winds down - KOTA Territory News

Rancher Relief Fund winds down

The October blizzard hit ranchers hard in South Dakota. Support for the Rancher Relief Fund started flooding in right away. Now after $5.4 million in donations, the Rancher Relief Fund is winding down.

Nearly 43,000 head of livestock was reported lost by Rancher Relief Fund applicants. With the donations the fund was able to help more than 600 families.

With that money ranchers are now able to buy more livestock and fix up their ranch. Donations came from all 50 states, and several countries. More than half of the donations came from right here in South Dakota.

Those involved with the Rancher Relief Fund say they never anticipated this much support.

"I am so incredibly proud of South Dakota and of our livestock industry and how we responded to the blizzard and the disaster that so many of our families faced. And being able to distribute over $5 million back out to those ranch families is something I'm not quite sure how to say thank you for," said Silvia Christen, Executive Director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

The last of the Rancher Relief Fund money will be distributed by the end of the May. The account will be closed on June 1.

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