Oct 28 A relief effort has raised about $400,000
for South Dakota farmers and ranchers affected by a rare autumn
blizzard earlier this month that killed sheep and tens of
thousands of cattle.
Considered one of South Dakota's worst agricultural
disasters, the Oct. 3-5 storm dumped up to 48 inches (122 cm) of
snow on parts of the state.
The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, the South Dakota
Stockgrowers Association and the South Dakota Sheep Growers
Association have partnered with Black Hills Area Community
Foundation to raise funds to aid livestock producers affected by
"We have received, in gifts and pledges, approximately
$400,000 from around the country," said Regina Jahr, executive
director of Black Hills Area Community Foundation.
"The ag community spread the word on Facebook pages, their
blogs, their agriculture publications, and through all the sale
barns," Jahr said.
AgChat, a foundation that assists farmers and ranchers
through social media platforms, partnered with Tyson Foods
to hold an online fundraising event on Oct. 21.
Tyson pledged to donate $10 for each Twitter post including
the hash tag #RancherRelief Tweet, up to $50,000. The event
resulted in more than 5,000 tweets worth $50,000 in only a few
hours, they said.
AgChat has set a goal of raising $500,000 for rancher
The U.S. Department of Agriculture also has pledged
assistance to South Dakota livestock producers cleaning up from
"We are only at the beginning of this recovery, and it will
take time and billions of dollars," Jahr said.
A unified campaign has been established at the AgChat
Foundation's giving site. To donate to the Rancher Relief Fund
visit, www.giveblackhills.org and search "Rancher Relief Fund".