A prayer for the South Dakota Cowboy

As the sun shines down through the golden trees and rests on the back of the black cows grazing outside my windows and along our cattle trails, we send out a prayer to ranchers in western South Dakota who’s early autumn turned into a devastating winter storm last week.

Winter Storm Atlas Kills Thousands of Cattle in South Dakota
The Weather Channel

Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday’s blizzard, ranchers say
Rapid City Journal

Up to four feet of snow in some parts of our neighboring state buried cattle, horses and sheep in a cold grave, leaving ranchers and citizens without power to dig out and count their losses with the help of airplanes, neighbors and the National Guard.

I have just written and filed my Sunday column on how ranchers across the heartland are looking across the prairie, the badlands and the foot of their mountains and holding our breath, heart broken and worried for our neighbors, knowing that out here, raising these animals and crops, we’re all at the mercy of the sky.

So I’ve decided it’s worth spreading the news, not because it can reverse the damage, but because it sheds light on the industry and the farmers and ranchers who don’t call what they do a job, but a life.

Blogger Dawn Wink with Dawn Wink: Dewdrops explains the effects a storm of this magnitude has on a ranching family and not only their bottom line, but their morale.

Read it here:

The Blizzard the Never Was–and its Aftermath on Cattle and Ranchers
by Dawn Wink
Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

and send up a prayer to the cowboys in South Dakota.

Want to help? Here are some ideas: 

 The South Dakota Cowgirl
How can you help? 

Heifers for South Dakota
Pledge a heifer (a bred yearling or a replacement quality weanling) for a rancher in South Dakota

Give to the cause today!
Ag Chat Rancher Relief Fund

14 thoughts on “A prayer for the South Dakota Cowboy

  1. Oh crap Jessie. I am so sorry for the ranchers and the cattle. I dropped over to Dawn’s webpage and left a comment there too.

    I am baffled that this did not make your national news. This is no small thing that happened. Will folk only care when they see the price of meat on its little Styrofoam tray going up and affecting them ? To what is this storm being attributed ? Why did the ranchers not get some sort of warning from your weather service ?

    This is really sad. And sadder still that I didn’t hear about it on MY news.

  2. Thanks for sharing the story and the link – I checked out Dawn’s post and left a comment there too. I’m very sorry to hear about this, and I hope those affected will be able to pick up again soon…

  3. I have been afraid to hear the extent of South Dakotas pain and loss. It just gets worse day after day. I am so sorry for those creatures that loss their lives and the families that depended on them. How heartbreaking.

  4. Wow, this is truly so sad. It’s heart-wrenching. I’m surprised also that I haven’t heard this news until now. My the Lord be with all the people affected by this weather. My prayers will continually go out to those cowboys and families during this time. It’s so sad, and poor animals. There should have been a weather advisory warning all those in that area of the coming storm— and this situation should make national news. I hope more help goes out that way beside aside the help from the National Guard.

  5. Terrible situation. Our hearts go out to those ranchers. Where is the national news? This needs to be highlighted for the general public as part of the need for a new farm bill.

  6. Pingback: I do care – Is that allowed? | quietlysimplemusings

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