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Farmers helping farmers

Local members of the Minnesota Farm Bureau were part of a statewide effort to raise money for neighboring producers.

Farm Bureau members, county Farm Bureaus and the Minnesota Farm (MFB) Bureau Foundation recently raised $22,000 for Western South Dakota ranchers and their families hit by an October blizzard.

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At least 20,000 livestock died in the storm, many of which were suffocated by the snow. An estimated 48-inches of snow fell in 24 hours.

Roger Zastrow, Todd County Farm Bureau president, was at the meeting and said the cattle loss will likely impact younger farmers who are just starting out.

Zastrow said a Morris-area farmer who recently bought a ranch in the affected area shared his story with the crowd and reported he had lost about 500 head of cattle in the blizzard.

There were about 400 people at the fundraising event. The money will go to the South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares fund; it’s designed to help ranch families impacted by the blizzard with immediate financial needs, such as cash for groceries, utility bills or whatever they feel would be helpful for their family and household.

The money was raised at an auction held during the MFB annual meeting November 21-23 in Bloomington.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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