User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


67° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Ranchers Face Hard Job Of Carcass Clean Up

October 8, 2013, 10:00 PM by Kevin Woster

Ranchers Face Hard Job Of Carcass Clean Up
NEW UNDERWOOD, SD -

Ranchers in western South Dakota continue the gruesome job of picking up livestock killed in the recent blizzard. Early estimates put the death toll on cattle in the tens of thousands.

For Box Elder rancher Monty Williams, that means using a tractor that normally hauls livestock feed to carry cattle killed in last week’s blizzard. Williams figures he’s lost at least 100 himself. But he’s happy for those that survived.

"A lot of guys were losing everything - cows, calves, you name it," Williams said.

In addition to cleaning up carcasses, ranchers across western South Dakota are rounding up and sorting cattle. The animals mixed with other herds as they drifted miles away in the strong winds and snow.

"We pretty much found what's alive by this time," Williams said. "What's left now is not alive."

The dead are being found in a wide swath of the storm's path, stretching from the Wyoming line east for about 100 miles.

“One rather morbid story was that they could simply find their cattle by following the trail of dead carcasses,” SDSU extension beef specialist Ken Olson said. "It's devastating. I've had some tearful conversations. They're having a hard time. Some of them know that it's going to put them out of business. It's very hard."

It’s important that ranchers carefully document their losses. That could be essential if a government assistance program is put in place.

“We don’t know yet what a disaster program would look like, but we hope there will be one,” Olson said. “What we know from past disaster programs is the importance of documentation.”

Olson considers the possibility of federal help with both hope and skepticism. He said he and other ranchers need the help to stay in business. But the actions of elected officials in Washington, D.C. in creating a budget impasse that has shut down much of the federal government makes him wonder.

“I don’t know, I’m not that optimistic at this point with the government shutdown, either,” Olson said.

Olson says the impacts of the storm are magnified because ranchers had already suffered through a drought that reduced the size of their herds, and also their bottom line. But the damage caused by this storm goes far beyond economics. It hurts these ranch families on a deeply personal level.

“It's personal. Yup, it's personal,” Williams said.

He and other ranchers feel their losses one by one as they pick up the scattered carcasses. Some will be processed for byproducts, other buried or burned.

It's a hard chore for ranchers across the region. And it's only beginning.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Sutton Bay CEO Dies In UTV Rollover Crash

8/25/2014 2:34 PM

The CEO of Sutton Bay Resort in central South Dakota died after rolling his 2014 Polaris Ranger late Sunday night.

Full Story
Authorities Search For Missing Inmate

8/24/2014 10:43 AM

31-year-old Bridget Franzen failed to report to a work release job on Saturday, August 23.

Full Story
SF Mother, Daughter Admit To Large Drug Conspiracy

8/27/2014 10:54 AM

Faith Rasmussen, 21, and her 55-year-old mother Theresa Rasmussen admit they were bringing marijuana from California to South Dakota and distributing ...

Full Story
SF Drug Ring Involved 220 lbs. Of Marijuana

8/27/2014 5:48 PM

Her boyfriend was killed during a botched robbery in December in northwest Sioux Falls. Faith Rasmussen and her mother, Theresa, have now pleaded guil...

Full Story | Watch
Car vs. School Bus Crash Near Inwood, Iowa

8/26/2014 11:31 AM

Authorities in northwest Iowa are investigating a serious crash involving a car and a school bus.

Full Story


Events