Application and nomination forms for assistance under the Ranchers Relief Fund are now available for producers affected by livestock losses in the early October blizzard that blanketed South Dakota and several other western states.
Although it is sometimes difficult to ask for help, producers who experienced losses are encouraged to apply, says South Dakota State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director Rosie Nold.
Nominations from family, friends, community members and others who know ranchers and families that need help are encouraged to submit nominations. Applications and nominations should be submitted by December 31, 2013.
The South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund, which was established by the S.D. Stockgrowers Association, S.D. Cattlemen's Association and S.D. Sheepgrowers Association, has collected a little over $2 million to provide support and blizzard relief assistance to those in the agriculture industry.
The Black Hills Area Community Foundation, which is facilitating the fund, is receiving 1% administrative fee, plus their direct administrative costs, which will be very low considering their staff of two.
Stockgrowers, Cattlemen and Sheepgrowers are not receiving any administrative fees.
According to the S.D. Rancher Relief Fund:
Any producer within the blizzard area is encouraged to apply. There is no cut off or disqualification for age or percentage of herd lost.
Any species of livestock will be considered. Sheep, cattle, horses and buffalo are all welcome, and will receive consideration.
Any producer who suffered livestock losses in the Oct. 4-7 blizzard declared counties and the adjoining counties is eligible for consideration. This includes counties outside of South Dakota.
Additional information about the fund, and nomination forms, can be found on the RRF website.
Source: SDSU Extension