Posted 5 months ago
By John Axtell
The Nebraska Cattlemen has established a relief fund through the Chadron Community Foundation to help producers in Dawes, Sioux, and Sheridan counties who’ve lost livestock to the blizzard
Cattlemen Vice President of Member Services Melody Benjamin is encouraging everyone to contribute to the Cattlemen’s Relief Fund, saying it’s not the size of the gift but the act of giving itself that will mean the most to the recipients.
“Those folks who have lost cattle and horses and sheep, they just want to people to know what they’re going through.
Having a fund available, while it might not amount to a whole lot in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of dollars of loss in the area, lets everybody know that the rest of the state knows what they’re going through and are sympathetic to what’s happened.”
Chadron Community Foundation President Steve Cleveland says while significant financial loss suffered by area ranchers from the deaths of thousands of head of cattle, “even more concerning is the emotional loss that a truce stockman feels when they know that many cattle have suffered.”
Cleveland says the Cattlemen’s Relief Fund will be handled much the same as the similar funds established to provided financial help to victims of the 2006 and 2012 wildfires in the northern Panhandle.
That means a committee will be established to assess the losses, set priorities for recipients, and distribute the funds received. Contributions may be sent to the Cattlemen Relief Fund, PO Box 1125, Chadron NE 69337.
A similar fund has been started in South Dakota through the Black Hills Area Community Foundation to help ranchers in that state, where the loss of cattle is expected to be as much as 10 times or more greater than in Nebraska. Donations may be made at www.giveblackhills.org.
Producers who suffered livestock losses should keep detailed records of losses for insurance or possible disaster aid purposes. Documentation should include third-party verification of the loss – such as a statement from a veterinarian or county extension agent – photographs, or receipts for expenses associated with carcass removal.