South Dakota ranchers vow to survive cattle disaster

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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PHILIP, S.D. -- Western South Dakota ranchers have buried the tens of thousands of cattle that died in an early October blizzard. Now they are figuring out how to dig themselves out of a financial hole after many lost a quarter or more of their herds.

Rancher Joe Carley of Philip lost more than a quarter of his cattle. He says he has had some sleepless nights, but he will survive. His neighbors also vow to recover.

The ranchers are meeting with bankers and may get low-interest government loans. A relief fund has collected $400,000 in donations, and ranchers from Montana plan to give cattle to South Dakota ranchers.

Congress is working to pass a farm bill that would reinstate a livestock disaster program that could reimburse ranchers for some of their loss.

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