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Nearly 75,000 cows lost in South Dakota snowstorm, ranchers hope to rebuild

Nearly 75,000 cows lost in South Dakota snowstorm, ranchers hope to rebuild
South Dakota Stockgrowers Association Facebook

POSTED: Friday, October 11, 2013 - 11:56am

UPDATED: Friday, October 11, 2013 - 12:13pm

South Dakota ranchers are continuing to uncover thousands of cattle that were buried under snow during a record setting snowstorm over the weekend.

Around 75,000 cows were covered by about five feet of snow.

According to The Blaze, at least four deaths were caused by the weather, including a South Dakota man who collapsed while cleaning snow off his roof:

Gary Cammack, who ranches on the prairie near Union Center about 40 miles northeast of the Black Hills, said he lost about 70 cows and some calves, about 15 percent of his herd. A calf would normally sell for $1,000, while a mature cow would bring $1,500 or more, he said.

“It’s bad. It’s really bad. I’m the eternal optimist and this is really bad,” Cammack said. “The livestock loss is just catastrophic. … It’s pretty unbelievable.”

According to Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, around five percent of the state's cattle. She also told The Blaze, the storm killed calves that were due to be sold soon as well as cows that would produce next year’s calves in an area where livestock production is a big part of the economy. 

If you would like to donate to the ranchers who lost nearly everything, you can visit their Facebook page at South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. This money will be used to support the ranchers as they begin to rebuild their lives.

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