MOBRIDGE, SD -
As ranchers in western South Dakota continue to clean up cattle killed in this fall’s blizzard, ranchers elsewhere are doing what they can to help.
Multiple ranchers at the sale barn in Mobridge Tuesday paid for a heifer but didn’t take it home.
"I can't imagine what it would be like to lose, some people I've heard as many as their whole herd, you know. That's going to break a lot of people and we're just trying to help them get back on their feet," Timber Lake rancher Larry Gill said.
Gill donated a heifer for a rollover auction in Mobridge Tuesday. That’s when the highest bidder pays for the animal but donates it back to be auctioned off again, with that cycle repeating. All the proceeds went to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund.
Another rancher donated a heifer for a rollover auction in Mobridge last week. It raised more than $20,000. Tuesday's auction brought in more than $6,000 immediately but donations are still coming. A third rancher has donated another heifer for the same purpose. It’ll be on the auction block next week.
"Quite a few people just pitched together and that's what South Dakota cattlemen do,"co-owner of Mobridge Livestock Market Casey Perman said. “They come together when our neighbors and friends are in need and we're just all glad to help and just do what we can.”
Beyond proceeds raised at the auction, ranchers are making donations as they sell cattle. Other businesses and individuals across the state and neighboring states are helping too.
"I think we've just started to raise money for this South Dakota rancher's relief," Perman said.
Ranchers who've taken part in the efforts so far say they hope that's true.
"I know they would do the same for us if we were in this position," Gill said.
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