The Ranchers Relief Fund is disbursing its final funds to the ranchers and live stock producers recovering from last October's blizzard. That Storm took over forty-three thousand cattle from ranchers throughout western South Dakota. The state is getting closer to a full recovery.
Over Five-Million dollars was raised by donations to assist livestock producers recover from losses. The Ranchers Relief Fund is set to disburse the remainder of the fund which is just over a million dollars. Silvia Christen with the South Dakota Stock Growers Association says the money has helped producers in many ways.
"I think it has certainly sped up the process of being able to say that we're on a road to recovery. It has made a big difference, both financially and emotionally, for a lot of these families. I think our industry would have found a way to recover, even without something like the Ranchers Relief Fund, but I'm certainly grateful everyday that we had the opportunity and had the generosity to raise the kind of money we did, and provide it for those families," Christen says.
Christen says some families never did recover and got out of the business while some older ranchers retired. Christen says the Farm Bill has programs that will continue to help ranchers recover, once the Ranchers Relief Funds account is closed. People still wanting to donate to the Ranchers Relief Fund can do so until June 1.