Heartbreak in the Heartland
I’ve been watching the reports from South Dakota as much as those from the circus in DC. Like the Nashville floods and other disasters, people pretty much ignore the flyover states.
Rain, followed by blinding snow pummeled animals and ranches still in summer/fall mode. Several feet of snow drifted, and chilled the animals not yet in their winter coats.
These are animals on pastures – the grass fed beef so many claim to be fond of. Demanding more of.Like the majority of breeding operations, cattle are not in feedlot barns but out on pasture. Some barns and buildings collapsed from the amount of snow.
Tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of cattle were frozen – their black hides contrasting against the melting snow. Horses died in their pastures. Those surviving may be wandering, lost having gotten over drifted fences and cattle guards, disorientated and trying to get home.
America wants animals out of pens. They want the open pastures – which is what most farmers and ranchers do. Like chicks caught in spring downpours, outdoor life isn’t always kind. It can be brutal. It can be deadly.
There may be as many as 200,000 animals killed – some estimates 5% of the cattle in the western South Dakota plains. While officials in DC bicker about details, these folks are absorbing a loss of $1,000-1,500 per animal. Run that total quickly – possibly hundreds of millions of dollars. Although fundraisers are started, it’s but a piddly drop in the bucket.
No one snowflake would bring down a cow or a horse. Several feet of them, after rain, after 80 degree days – that brings devastation. With enough people, maybe we can make a small dent for some of these ranchers. We can’t bring back the years of breeding. We can’t breathe air back in the lungs of those horses. But maybe we can bring a little hope.
Heifers for S Dakota is one effort – donating literally heifers and horses, breeding stock for those hit the hardest.
Atlas Blizzard Ranch Relief is putting together another fundraiser. We’re working on a donation here – however small, may it be a financial snowflake.
It’s often said no one cares about those in agriculture, about those in flyover states. Spread the word America – give a hand up to those not even asking for it, but facing overwhelming loss. The media’s watching Miley and political circuses. Those in agriculture are watching food production.
Be a snowflake of support. Comments of support, a few dollars – it adds up. For those who can spare a heifer, a horse – it’ll help rebuild. Spread the word – the media won’t – let’s make a difference for the ranchers of South Dakota. Everyone reading can do something. Retweet this, share it, spread the word, contact news outlets. South Dakotan Bob Barker has given millions to animal rights causes, but it’s up to ordinary people to help here. Be one.
Atlas shrugged. Don’t let America ignore it.