Organization Provides Relief to Ranchers - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Organization Provides Relief to Ranchers

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There's a rescue effort to help ranchers who suffered significant livestock losses during an early October blizzard. A program called "Heifers for South Dakota" is providing hope and financial relief.

The organization came about in response to the storm that killed more than 15,000 cattle, sheep and horses. Hundreds of cattlemen from more than a dozen states have donated money and cattle to the cause.

Wade Moser's herd has weathered many winter storms, but he and his cattle didn't have to stand-up the three day blizzard that decimated livestock in eastern South Dakota October 4 through the 7.

"Anybody that's been in the cattle business for any length of time knows that probably throughout your career you're going to run reck once in awhile whether its blizzard, bad storms, drought or whatever," says Moser. "It always seems like there's somebody there to encourage you, to keep you going and move on and help out where they can and this was just something that needed to be done."

Moser donated two bred heifers to the Heifers for South Dakota relief effort and a couple of months later received a thank you note and this Christmas ornament with his brand painted on it along with the brand of the ranch his heifers ended up at.  He says it's one of the best Christmas gifts he's ever received.

Jolyn and Chris Wasem knows a lot giving and and receiving.  Their daughter Braelyn was born with a cleft pallet that required several expensive surgeries in Saint Paul.  Their friends and neighbors organized a benefit auction and dinner to raise money to help pay their medical expenses.

"It took a long time for it to really sink in about how much people did for us, it was a long time and I was telling somebody about it one day and I just broke down because it finally hit me how much, how big of a thing the people gave us," say Jolyn.

She and her husband decided to pay that debt forward and donate a bred heifer to Heifers for South Dakota.

"There's so many different ways to give and it's a great time of the year to do that over the holiday season and you know every little bit counts whether its a prayer, a meal, a twenty dollar bill or a heifer," says Jolyn.

Ty Lingle, a rancher in Miles City was instrumental in organizing Heifers for South Dakota which went viral on Facebook.  He says he has one more load of cattle to deliver in mid January.  That shipment will bring the number of donated heifers to over a thousand, and by then Ty estimates financial contributions will top $150,000.

"Hope with Hide"  is the slogan Ty has given this relief effort and it seems the phrase sums up the feelings of the producers who have given to and received assistance from the program.

To donate or learn more about Heifers for South Dakota, check out the group's Facebook page.

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