Organizers of a donation fund set up to help South Dakota ranchers hurt by an early October blizzard are preparing to distribute an additional $3.3 million to producers, after earlier doling out about $775,000.
The fund was established by the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association. It is being managed by the Black Hills Area Community Foundation and has received money from more than 5,000 donors in all 50 states. Donations are still being accepted.
About 600 ranchers applied for help by the Dec. 31 deadline, reporting losses of 43,000 cattle, sheep and horses in the Oct. 4-5 blizzard that hit with surprising intensity and dumped first rain and then up to 4 feet of snow in western South Dakota, according to Stockgrowers Association President Bob Fortune.
“We recognize the financial assistance from the Rancher Relief Fund will not come close to fully reimbursing the ranchers that suffered devastating losses,” he said. “However, we know every little bit helps in the wake of the historic storm.”
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