October 11th, 2013
02:15 PM ET
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Like in a scene from an apocalyptic parable, dark carcasses of cows and steers lie motionless in silent clusters across swaths of South Dakota.

An early blizzard caught ranchers off guard this week in the state, killing as many as 20,000 head of cattle, a state official says.

But ranchers say they are the real victims.

The storm left many of them in ruins, and now Washington is leaving them out in the cold.

"With the government shutdown and no farm bill in place, we need South Dakotans to help their neighbors," Gov. Dennis Daugaard said.

This year's federal farm legislation got hung up in Congress before the shutdown. There's no money to help the ranchers, and Daugaard is asking for donations.

Read - South Dakota blizzard kills, buries cows; shutdown leaves ranchers in the cold

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. rushanab

    How did the ranchers let this happen? They all saw the storm dump major amounts of rain as it hit the west coast, then travel on to the rockies. What weather report were they watching? or is this a way to raise meat prices this winter? Ranchers I know would not allow such a massive amount oif cattle to die due to weather. They would prepare for the coming storms. One told me awhile ago, "I would rather be prepared for the worst and have it not come, than not be prepared and loose everything". I agree, "plan for the worst and hope for the best".

    October 16, 2013 at 1:54 am |
  2. Justin

    20k animals froze to death - but ranchers are the real victims.

    Wow... America, we've come a long way in the wrong direction. And now you want the government to pay YOU for POOR planning? I'm sorry, but I've lived in the mountains most of my life raising animals. Planning and ethics go a long way in preserving your livestock. But when you're pushing profit margins...gee, guess that changes things.

    There's always wheat farming when you stop whining, get some ethics, and stop asking for handouts.

    October 13, 2013 at 4:16 am |
  3. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Aw, crap. I hope it's not another 6 month winter in the midwest this year.

    October 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • RC

      No freezing blizzards here in Wa. state, but I think we're in for a cold, wet winter with plenty of snow. YAY!

      October 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
      • JellyBean

        Yep, that's what the Farmers Almanac has said as well.

        Those poor cattle.

        October 15, 2013 at 11:14 am |
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