STURGIS, SD -
Nine days after an historic October blizzard ripped across the ranchland of western South Dakota, livestock producers who lost animals are looking for help in disposing of carcasses and covering financial losses.
US Representative Kristi Noem met with ranchers in hard hit areas east of Sturgis today to hear about their losses and take suggestion on how she can help.
The congresswoman said work on the currently stalled farm bill and its crucial livestock indemnity program should be coming soon. She has been named to a conference committee to settle differences between Senate and House version of the program.
Ranchers who are often uncomfortable about receiving federal assistance said it could help keep many who were hit hardest by the storm out on the land, producing livestock.
“Never anything this bad, we've had some smaller deals a little bit similar but never nothing like this,” Delbert Cobb who lost 240 animals said.
“This isn't something that we stop talking about next week. This will be a long haul because these guys next spring are going to struggle, for the next year are going to struggle,” Rep. Noem said.
For now, those who lost livestock that have financial and personal value are busy with cleanup and caring for the cattle that survived. Noem also met with area mayors about their situation after the blizzard.
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