South Dakota ranchers reel after catastrophic storm leaves up to 100,000 cattle dea
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  1. #1
    us
    Sep 2012
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    South Dakota ranchers reel after 'catastrophic' storm leaves up to 100,000 cattle dea

    Ranchers in South Dakota fear they may lose everything after a freak storm dumped up four feet of snow in parts of the state last week, killing as many as 100,000 cattle.

    Matt Kammerer, a 45-year-old rancher whose family has operated in South Dakota’s Meade County since 1882, told FoxNews.com that he lost 60 cattle in the storm, or one-third of his entire herd.



    " ... It’s just dead cow after dead cow, where they’ve gotten caught in dams, streams, fences, you name it. They’re dead everywhere."

    - Rancher Matt Kammerer


    “You’re talking about $120,000 of assets that are just gone,” Kammerer said Friday by phone. “And we still owe the banks, too. It’s like driving a brand-new pickup off a cliff and still having to make payments.”

    Kammerer painted a gruesome scene north of Rapid City, where a record 23 inches of snow fell.

    “It’s just unreal,” he said. “There are cattle that are 8 or 9 miles away from the pasture they were in, just lying dead. And within that whole stretch, it’s just dead cow after dead cow, where they’ve gotten caught in dams, streams, fences, you name it. They’re dead everywhere.”

    Carcasses of mature cows as well as calves were floating downstream local waterways in droves, Kammerer said, stoking fears of a potential outbreak of disease.

    “If you don’t get those picked up and buried, you’re looking at the possibility of disease or possibly contamination,” he said. “You’ve got to get them all picked up.”

    Most ranchers in the state lost anywhere between 50 to 75 percent of their herds, according to Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, which represents 1,500 ranching operations.

    “We’re certainly looking at tens of thousands if not pushing 100,000 at this point,” she said of the dead livestock.

    Aside from the economic losses, which will be severe once finally tallied, the unprecedented storm has left an “incredible emotional burden” on the state’s ranchers, Christen said.

    “They know how dependent these livestock are on them and they’re absolutely emotionally devastated at the losses they’re seeing,” she said. “It’s been extremely difficult.”

    In the days since the storm, Christen said ranchers are now focusing on providing medical care to the animals that did survive.

    “That really has to be the priority before we start counting loss,” she said. “They need to make sure they’re safe and that they stay healthy now.”

    Complicating matters is this weekend’s forecast, which calls for heavy rain and strong winds just a week after the early fall blizzard. Crews in South Dakota and North Dakota are also still working to restore power to thousands of customers left in the dark.

    The storm also killed a man in the Lead-Deadwood area of South Dakota and damaged numerous buildings, causing at least one to collapse from the weight of snow and relentless winds.

    South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard and U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., flew over the affected areas during an aerial assessment Thursday afternoon. The state’s congressional delegation has also vowed to push ahead for quick passage of the stalled farm bill to provide immediate financial relief to ranchers.

    “We need to be doing everything we can to help the livestock producers whose livelihoods have been endangered by this storm,” Thune said in a statement. “Last weekend’s devastating storm is another example of why we need to complete work on the Farm Bill for our farmers and ranchers.”

    Christen said passage of the legislation is critical for the region.

    “It’s a disaster situation here, like a hurricane in other parts of the country,” she said. “We’re not looking for a handout or any kind of special subsidy, however, we’ve had a devastating loss to our industry. It’s critical to our economy in South Dakota and frankly the entire agriculture industry that we pass that. These cows feed a lot of this country.”

    Gary Cammack, a 60-year-old rancher near Union Center in Meade County, said he lost about 15 percent of his herd, including 70 cows and some calves, which normally sell for $1,000. A mature cow usually brings in $1,500 or more, he said.

    "It's bad. It's really bad. I'm the eternal optimist and this is really bad," Cammack told The Associated Press. "The livestock loss is just catastrophic ... It's pretty unbelievable."

    Livestock were initially soaked by 12 hours of rain before 48 consecutive hours or snow and winds up to 60 mph, Cammack said.

    "It's the worst early season snowstorm I've seen in my lifetime," he continued.

  2. #2
    us
    Feb 2008
    SE Missouri
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    Heard about the snows, wonder why they didn't report the losses on the news. Hope this isn't a taste of what the winter has in store for us.
    dancing in the fire!

  3. #3
    us
    Cat teaches man, not everything here serves him.

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    Load all of 'em on freezer cargo containers, there's some country will take them,
    make jello outta of 'em, among other things.......

    Otherwise they going to have to burn them all?

    Really sad, everyone heads up, get your winter preparations ahead of schedule,
    and good luck!
    Yesterday is history, tomorow a mystery. All we have is the here and now, it's a special gift. That's why we call it "The Present"

    Pity the poor agnostic dyslexic insomniac who lies awake at night wondering if there really is a Dog.

  4. #4
    us
    Tribal Member of United Houma Nation -

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    (with tongue planted firmly in cheek...)

    Yeah it was tough. Now will you folks beleve in Man Made Global Warming (MMGW)? This is just more proof how the world is warming up. Everyone knows snows come from heat. STOP THE WARMING NOW!!! .

    Next time it could be 20 feet of snow!!!

    LOL!!!LOL!!!LOL!!!LOL!!!LOL!!!LOL!!!LOL!!!LOL!!!LO L!!!LOL!!!

    In all honesty, I really do feel sorry for the loss of the cattle, and the monetary losses of the ranchers.
    "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have anymore reward, because all memory of them is forgotten. . . . Whatever you hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge or wisdom in the Grave, where you are going." -- Ecclesiastes 9:5 & 10

  5. #5
    donald peterson

    Jan 2013
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    take any tragedy and turn it into a platform for political bs.

  6. #6
    us
    Tribal Member of United Houma Nation -

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    Quote Originally Posted by pippinwhitepaws View Post
    take any tragedy and turn it into a platform for political bs.
    Pippen, polyticks is hot air. This thread was about the unusually heavy snows which you didn't believe when I posted in the MMGW forum last week before it happened.

    Let's see, you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by pippinwhitepaws View Post
    just because it snows in winter...awww..nevermind.
    "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have anymore reward, because all memory of them is forgotten. . . . Whatever you hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge or wisdom in the Grave, where you are going." -- Ecclesiastes 9:5 & 10

  7. #7
    donald peterson

    Jan 2013
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    see, there you go making stuff up.
    I believe in snow...I even made a rational post that was removed...

    but...we see how it works...some people have agendas...they insult and degrade any information that disagrees with their agenda...karl rove school of thought.
    the earth is a closed system...one activity, however simple or unimportant to a human, can change something critical on the opposite side of the globe.
    fact.

  8. #8
    us
    Tribal Member of United Houma Nation -

    Sep 2011
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    For anyone curious if I made up the above statement, click on the arrow to the right of Pippenwhitepaws name. It will take you to his post in the other thread.

    Please do not call me a liar.

    I turn my back to you.
    TheRingFinder and Dave44 like this.
    "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have anymore reward, because all memory of them is forgotten. . . . Whatever you hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge or wisdom in the Grave, where you are going." -- Ecclesiastes 9:5 & 10

 

 

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