Update: Today (10/11) I will be having a teleconference with many of the folks working hard behind the scenes to put together some fundraisers. So please stay tuned. I will keep all of you up to date as details unfold.
The outpouring of support yesterday, for the ranchers in Western South Dakota, renewed my spirit in humanity. With over 8k page views on my post yesterday (up to 2k already today) and countless Facebook “Likes” I think we are starting to get the word out.
In the Wall Street Journal this morning there was an article about this, and I know after speaking to some folks yesterday that there should be more national media coverage in the coming days.
I never dreamed in a million years that what I wrote yesterday would have such an impact. But since it did, let’s keep this going and see if we can’t really get something done.
Here’s how you can help:
1. Go like the Rancher’s Relief Page on Facebook. We are going to have a stallion auction and an online auction to raise money. We will also be routing donations through a non-profit and we’ll keep you updated on where to send the money as those details present themselves.
Not to make light of the monetary donations people may wish to give, but short of raising millions of dollars, the money will only be a drop in the bucket. There’s 1.2 – 1.5M cattle in Western SD – and with estimates of 5-20% of the herd being deceased (60-275k cattle to put a number on it), and a cow being worth $1500 on the low end, and a calf being worth $1000, well, you can do the math.
2. Get over and get connected to the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and South Dakota Cattleman’s association. They will keep you updated for where volunteers are needed, as well as with news. And finally if you’re in Western SD, and you’re needing to locate or you’ve located cattle, you need to get connected to the South Dakota Cattle Locator page.
3. For the love of all things Pete, CALL YOUR SENATORS and CONGRESSMEN and tell them to stop talking, stop posturing, stop acting like three year olds and PASS A FARM BILL. I don’t care if you don’t live in South Dakota. If you live in these United States, and wish to help, the best way would be to let your senators and congressmen know what’s going on here and that it’s time to stop playing politics.
4. Tweet, Facebook, and share this post with your friends. We’ll be using the hashtag #ranchersrelief to spread the news, and while you’re at it you can use #ranchlife other situation appropriate tags.
Yesterday’s most asked question was:
Will insurance cover the losses? It will if you have the right insurance, and your cows are insured. Not everyone’s cows are insured. And not everyone may have a “winter peril” rider on their coverage. Some folks simply may not be able to afford the insurance. Each rancher’s situation is different, so let’s don’t judge, alright?
I know that we can come together to affect a proper change. So let’s help our friends and neighbors; the folks that work long hours to raise food for America.
The relief fund is now active, and is going through the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, a 501c3 Organization. This is the “official” donation fund. There are other entities holding fundraisers, and as far as I know (I’m working behind the scenes with many of these groups), they plan to make any money they raise payable to the fund listed here. You may make your donations to the Rancher Relief Fund online or via check:
Black Hills Community Area Foundation/SD Rancher Relief Fund.
Make check payable to the “Rancher Relief Fund.”
Address: PO Box 231, Rapid City, SD 57709.
You can also donate right from this page: