The freak October blizzard that dumped more than four feet of snow has killed tens of thousands of cattle west of the river. Their carcasses are now tangled in barbed wire fences and emerging from the melting snowdrifts.
But the government shutdown means part of the safety net is gone; the programs normally operated by the USDA and other federal agencies to assist ranchers are shuttered.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Charles Michael Ray caught up with a few ranchers while they were out in the field corralling the surviving animals.
To donate to the Rancher Relief Fund visit, www.giveblackhills.org and search "Rancher Relief Fund" or click on this link. Donors can also mail checks to Black Hills Community Area Foundation/SD Rancher Relief Fund made out to the "Rancher Relief Fund."
PO Box 231
Rapid City, 57709.