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Ranching Communities Pull Together To Support Friends In Need

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Prayers for the victims of drought and donations to the Ranchers Relief Fund are ways the agricultural industry is pulling together to help one another.

There are definitely good-hearted people within the agricultural community. Last week, I wrote about how we need to focus on the good instead of all of the negativity we see in the news, and this week, I was delighted to see such examples on display within our own community of farmers and ranchers. Today, I want to report on two awesome examples of the power of good people doing kind things.

First are the Olsons of Onge, SD. Tim, a DVM, and his wife Chandy were disheartened to see so many of their friends and neighbors impacted by the early October 2013 blizzard that wiped out tens of thousands of cattle in the area. The Olsons have close relationships with many of the affected ranchers through their manufacturing company CATL Resources Livestock Equipment and Tim’s work as a Select Sires representative.

The Olsons decided they wanted to help their friends and customers hurt by Winter Storm Atlas, so CATL Resources Livestock Equipment teamed up with Zoetis Animal Health to donate a Silencer squeeze chute worth $15,000.

 

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The Moly Silencer chute will be auctioned off at the Black Hills Stock Show (BHSS) in Rapid City on Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, with the proceeds going to the Rancher Relief Fund (RRF) The RRF was set up by South Dakota livestock groups to raise money to help those affected by the freak October storm. It’s being administered by the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, and more than 600 requests for help have been submitted.

The auction is a great opportunity to get an awesome piece of handling equipment and support a good cause. If you still want to support but aren’t in the market for a chute, there are plenty of other items to purchase as well, ranging from belts, to jewelry, to western artwork, to saddles.

“We had a lot of our friends and customers who suffered from the blizzard,” Tim says. “I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to donate one of these chutes to a worthy cause, and I can’t think of a better reason to give away a chute than to help these ranchers.”

Second on my list of good deeds happening within our ranching community is Celeste Settrini, a rancher from Salinas, CA, who is promoting her event called Harvesting Faith. It’s planned as a day of reflection, prayer and fasting for the ranchers who are suffering from the drought that is severely impacting the West.

“On Sunday, Feb. 2, I ask that you all join me in prayer and fasting to ask for rain for our livestock, our crops, and our livelihood in California and in those places that need added moisture,” says Settrini on her Facebook page, Harvesting Faith. “How can you participate? Maybe it is extra time spent at your worship service. Maybe passing up on your favorite treat and taking that time to think. Maybe you are not a person of faith, but you have a higher power that you turn to; whatever the situation may be, I ask that you join me in praying for rain. It’s that simple. And when the rain does come, I ask that you give thanks.”

Settrini is asking folks who use social media to reference the hashtag #harvestingfaith2014.

I realize praying for rain isn’t as tangible as giving money or equipment, etc. But whether you are a prayerful person or not, kind thoughts and prayers are a way to band together to show our support for those folks who desperately need rain.

Cheers to Settrini and the Olsons for taking the initiative to spread some good cheer in the world. Make plans on Feb. 2 to pray for rain, and on Feb. 4 to attend the BHSS Ranchers Relief Fund auction. I hope both events reap bountiful rewards.

What are your thoughts on these generous efforts? Will you be participating? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 3

Brian Smith (not verified)
on Jan 30, 2014

I want to make you aware of a relief effort that is under way, led by our county's junior cattlemen's association. Our county, Lauderdale County, Alabama, has the largest county membership of our state's Junior Cattlemen's Association. We average approximately 65 members. My juniors wanted to do something for the South Dakota blizzard relief effort. They wanted to do something "beyond the norm." So, they are raising funds by hosting ribeye steak sandwich sales (the kids do most of the work, with some help from parents and youth sponsors) and by collecting donations. They are planning to purchase some Alabama heifers and bring them up to South Dakota in the spring and deliver them in person, putting them into the hands of South Dakota ranchers face to face. We are planning to stay in South Dakota a couple of days to help work on fences and repairs from the blizzard. Other county junior cattlemen chapters in the state are coming on board with our idea! Already, Etowah County has joined us. Cullman County wants to join in too! We are hoping it continues to spread over the state!
The kids realize that every rancher has a cow or cows in the herd that have their own "story". For example, "that is the cow that was my 4-H heifer," "that is the cow that we pulled as a calf on the coldest night of the year and we brought the calf into the kitchen to warm up," "that cow's bloodlines have been in our family's herd for 40 years," etc. We know that many SD ranchers lost the "story" in their herds during the blizzard.
We want to bring some Alabama heifers up, along with stories from their owner's herds, to share with the SD ranchers a new start, a new "story" cow for their herds, like....."this is my Alabama heifer that came from John Doe's farm along the banks of the Tennessee River in Alabama. This heifer is the daughter of the Alabama state champion Simmental heifer of 2010. The Alabama Junior cattlemen youth paid for this heifer and gave it to us after the blizzard, delivered her in person!"
We are REALLY excited about this! The kids are really working hard at the project. This is a great example of self-less giving, of purpose, of citizenship, of faith, of reaching out! We may not be able to replace all the losses, but we hope to make a difference, and that is what counts.
We are selling t-shirts also to support our effort. Orders are beginning to come in from as far away as Wisconsin. You can check my facebook page, Brian Smith, for photos of them.
We wanted to share our story with you. We plan to go up to SD the first week of June 2014 to take the heifers.
A great story from a great bunch of kids, working for others in a sister state!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jan 30, 2014

We at the" Lazy A Ranch" in Wagoner Oklahoma, would like to Get involved with your Event.. Can you e-mail Me with More information, and contact names to what we may be able to do to help out..

on Jan 30, 2014

Contact Tim Olson at 605.641.5966 or timselect@gmail.com

and Chandy at 605.641.2325 or chandyad@yahoo.com

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

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Amanda Radke

A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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