“Just lying dead… it’s just dead cow after dead cow… They’re dead everywhere.”
This should be making headlines around the world.
Many ranchers lost over half their herds when the storm dumped up to four feet of snow in the Black Hills.
Confirmed deaths have reached 20,000, but officials expect the numbers to top 100,000 by the end of the week.
Rancher Heath Ferguson said the storm killed 96 percent of his herd of 100 black Angus and Limousin cattle, a hit worth about $250,000. He said total losses topped more than 1,000 head, as six other herds were roaming the family’s 16,000 acres east of Sturgis.
Ferguson said the vast majority of ranchers don’t have insurance covering storm-related damage.
Froze to death while being buried under several feet of snow
As reported by Fox News, the dead cattle are everywhere. Ranch owner Matt Kammerer describes the heartbreaking scene:
“There are cattle that are 8 or 9 miles away from the pasture… just lying dead… it’s just dead cow after dead cow… They’re dead everywhere.”
Kammerer said local waterways are clogged with carcasses, bringing the possibility of disease and contamination. The cleanup has begun, However, it is not an easy task. The carcasses cannot be moved by hand, and machinery is in high demand.
Meanwhile, the Stockgrowers Association, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, and the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association, are accepting donations for the struggling ranchers.
Thanks to Thomas McHart for this link