Sunday Column: Looking for mercy from the prairie sky

On Friday it rained relentlessly. I woke up in the dark at 6 AM to the sound of drops pounding on my windows. I drove out of this place kicking up mud under that weeping sky and headed out toward the big town and back again.

It never let up.

And then the wind came and it blew that rain sideways and covered my head while my boots sunk in to the slippery on my way to hunker down under the safety of my roof.

The day before the sun shone bright and clear and the season looked and felt like the photographs you see on all of the Western calendars for October.

24 hours later the scene was drenched.

We expect this. Rain in October. Snow in October. Heat in October. Fire in October.

Anything can happen under this prairie sky. And that’s the beauty and the tragedy of it all.

Coming Home: Looking for mercy from the prairie sky
by Jessie Veeder
10/13/13
Fargo Forum
http://www.inforum.com

Want to help the South Dakota ranchers? Here are some ideas: 

 The South Dakota Cowgirl
How can you help?
http://www.thesouthdakotacowgirl.com

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!
Rancher Relief Fund

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
http://www.weather.com

Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday’s blizzard, ranchers say
Rapid City Journal
http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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
www.dawnwink.wordpress.com 

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? 
http://www.thesouthdakotacowgirl.com

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