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 in western Iowa 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."
Collection of Iowa donations is being coordinated by the Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation
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% of the Iowa dollars to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund. "Our county cattlemen's organizations in Iowa are strong, and when we lock arms together, we can get things done," says Tim Graeve, president of the Shelby County group.
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, IA 50014. You can call ICF with questions and donations at 515-296-2266.
About the Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation: The mission of the Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation is to enhance the public perception of the Iowa cattle industry and to assist in providing educational and economic opportunities for Iowans in the cattle business. The ICF is a non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status, defined as exempt by the IRS for payment of federal income taxes as a group organized for charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational purposes.