---- — AMES – Iowa cattle producers are being challenged to join together and raise funds for the South Dakota ranchers who lost cattle and infrastructure during the untimely blizzards that hit the western part of that state in early October. Current government estimates are that 20,000 to 30,000 cattle died in the storm.
The challenge began with the Shelby County Cattlemen’s Association. In a letter to other Iowa cattlemen’s groups, the group said, “The damage from that storm to the whole of the cattle industry will be long-lived. Our local county cattlemen's organization here in Shelby County has decided to make a donation to the relief efforts for the South Dakota producers. We have decided to donate the value of one bred heifer. While that may seem significant, we recognize that it is small in scope compared to the losses those producers have gone through.
“We would like to challenge the rest of the Iowa county cattlemen’s organizations to join us in making a donation to help out our neighbors, be it the value of a bred heifer or a feeder calf, or any amount that can be donated.”
The collection of Iowa donations from cattle producers is being coordinated by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation. The foundation is working with the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and will send 100 percent of the Iowa dollars to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund.
Donations will culminate during the Iowa Cattle Industry Convention in Altoona Dec. 9-11. Payments from individuals, businesses and county groups should be made out to the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation with a notation that the money is for the South Dakota ranchers. Those donations can be mailed to Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation, 2055 Ironwood Ct., Ames, Iowa 50014. You can call ICF with questions and donations at 515-296-2266.