Monday, October 14, 2013

Water in its Colder Form.....

As we know, water has not only many forms and uses, but impacts as well.  In South Dakota ranchers are slowly discovering more damage caused by the horrific blizzard that has left more than 75,000 livestock dead.  With up to 4 feet of snow in some areas, falling rapidly last weekend.  Many cattle found themselves trapped and eventually killed.  In many cases, the animals had begun to move south, or migrate towards small inlets or valleys in the land.  But, with the speed of the storm many were trapped by fences or in mud and deep snow.  Rancher Heath Ferguson, told USA Today, that 96 percent of his black Angus and Limousin herd was killed in the storm, totaling an estimated loss of $250,000 or roughly $1,000 a head.   Surrounding counties have opened mass pits for carcass disposal, but emotions are high as ranchers are literally forced to bury their livelihood. 

Many state agencies are urging ranchers to document all animal losses with pictures and hauling receipts in case disaster payments are available in the future.  On the political side many county agencies are becoming forced to intervene since the US Farm Service Agency is currently closed because of the recent Government shut down.  At the same time, the Stockgrowers Association, South Dakota Cattleman's Association and the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association are seeking donations for a relief fund that has been set up to help these communities.  We can only hope in time, these hard working ranchers can rebound from this terrible loss.  Just another terrifying reminder of mother natures power and strength.


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