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Oct 14, 2013 7:02 PM by Keele Smith - Bozeman

Montanans rally to help after devastating blizzard hits South Dakota ranchers

BOZEMAN - A Bozeman non-profit is asking for donations to help South Dakota ranchers recover from an early October blizzard.

The blizzard dumped as much as four feet of snow in some areas, and killed at least 20,000 head of livestock.

Kerry White of Citizens For Balance Use (CBU) explained, "We don't know if the government is going to step in or if they have any ability or desire to do that, so what we're looking at is good neighbor policy."

CBU and Bar Quarter Circle Ranch are launching "The Great Montana Cattle Drive" to help their ranching peers in South Dakota.

White noted, "The thing about Montana cattle is they're a hardy breed, they're ready to go into the winter, they've got their winter coats on."

Organizers are asking livestock producers to donate one or more production cattle, sheep, or horses.

White explained, "We'll have those animals tested, certified to go to South Dakota. Coordinate that with the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association. They will handle the dispersal of those animals once they reach South Dakota to those producers most in need."

Organizers hope to get the first shipment of cattle off before Christmas.

The Bar Quarter Circle Ranch will take your name, contact information and the livestock types you will be willing to donate. Send your information to: barquartercircle@gmail.com.

Shipping will be coordinated at a later date after needs are identified and assessed for proper allocation to producers most affected and in need.

Monetary donations are tax-deductible and can be mailed to CBU, P.O. Box 606, Gallatin Gateway, Montana, 59730.

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