RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Custer High School student is helping area ranchers whose herds were devastated in an early October blizzard.
Myles Kirk and his family didn’t lose any cattle in the storm, but the impact on the ranching community troubled him, The Rapid City Journal reported.
“I knew what it felt like,” he said. “It’s a lot of hard work and to lose it all at once is devastating.”
To raise money for the Rancher Relief Fund, the 18-year-old senior hosted a steak feed that raised about $3,600.
The fund was set up after the Oct. 4-5 blizzard that killed an estimated 43,000 cattle, sheep, horses and bison in the state. North Dakota’s losses are believed to be more than 1,000 animals.
The storm hit with surprising intensity, bringing rain, heavy snow and strong winds to the region. As much as 4 feet of wet, heavy snow fell on some parts of western South Dakota.
Cattle experts say recovery could take years for ranchers who lost high percentages of their herds.
Kirk lives on a ranch south of Pringle. He organized the event as part of his senior project.
“Mealtime on the ranch is a sacred time and I wanted to bring that into play during my project,” he said.