The North Dakota Stockmen's Association and the North Dakota Stockmen's Foundation are extending support to North and South Dakota livestock producers who were devastated by the winter storm that killed several thousand cattle last month.
The non-profit organizations donated $10,000 to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund, and set aside an additional $10,000 to establish the Stockmen's Aid for Atlas Disaster Relief Fund to provide relief to North Dakota ranchers who suffered catastrophic livestock losses in the blizzard.
Many cattle, sheep and horses were killed as a result of the impact of the storm, Oct. 4-5. Preliminary estimates are somewhere in the tens of thousands of animals in the Dakotas. Many surviving animals continue to get sick from secondary illnesses as a result of the storm, NDSA said.
"Our hearts go out to all the ranch families who were impacted by this incredibly destructive storm," said NDSA President Jason Zahn. "I know it has been economically and emotionally taxing."
Zahn said that bad situations "often bring out the best in people."
"There are so many people who have called the Stockmen's office and want to do something to help," he said. "That's why we decided to establish the Aid for Atlas Fund to connect those who want to help with those who really need it."
Contributions can be made to the North Dakota Stockmen's Foundation with "Aid for Atlas" written in the memo and sent to 407 S. Second St., Bismarck, ND 58504.
The gifts will be added to the NDSA's and the Stockmen's Foundation's seed money and, later this year, distributed through an application process to North Dakota ranchers in need.
The Stockmen's Foundation will also accept private donations for South Dakota ranchers and pass these gifts in their entirety on to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund, which is being administered by the NDSA's counterparts in South Dakota – the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and South Dakota Sheep Growers Association.
Donors are asked to note "South Dakota" on their checks if that is the intended destination.
The Stockmen's Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, so gifts can be deducted as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.
For more information about the Stockmen's Aid for Atlas Disaster Relief Fund or other ways to help, call (701) 223-2522 or visit www.ndstockmen.org.