Saturday, January 25, 2014

Week 2: South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund

In the first week of October 2013, an unseasonable blizzard struck the Black Hills of South Dakota.  This storm brought 24 inches of snowfall, winds up to 70 mph, and snow drifts up to 10 ft deep.  This area is littered with cattle ranches and most of those animals were still held in pastures.  Those pastures became slaughter yards as the cattle were buried in the snow and died of exposure or suffocation.

Many ranchers lost most or even all of their cattle or sheep herds.  It was a devastating blow to many small ranchers who couldn't afford insurance on their stock.  Stock that they were just days or weeks away from selling for the season.  Instead of reaping the rewards of an entire year's work, they were left with devastation.

I've never been a farmer or a rancher or have even lived in South Dakota, but I do like to eat.  In particular I like to eat beef and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the people who work long hard hours through all sorts of weather (including freak blizzards) and all so that I can pick up a neatly wrapped, tasty, and safe piece of meat in my local grocery store.

So for all those reasons, my second donation of the year has gone to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund.

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