While news headlines are focused on the shutdown of the federal government, farmers and ranchers are reeling from natural disasters. In Colorado, an epic late September flood destroyed crops, soil, roads and irrigation infrastructure. In South Dakota, an early October blizzard dropped four feet of snow, killing tens of thousands of cattle. To make matters worse, the agencies that farmers rely on after natural disasters were closed in the government shutdown. Though they’re getting back to work today, important farm programs are still not in operation because the Farm Bill was allowed to expire.
Immediately following both disasters, Farm Aid reached out to people on the ground to assess the damage to family farmers and ranchers and offer immediate assistance.
In Colorado, crops were lost at harvest time after months of tending; fields were flooded — with roaring rivers and pollutants, their priceless soil washed away. Irrigation systems that bring water from the mountains are destroyed; with no timeline for their repair, next season is uncertain for many farmers.
In South Dakota, farmers and ranchers are searching for their cattle and burying those that did not survive. Some lost their entire herds, a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But it’s the emotional toll that is most devastating. Ranchers are caretakers, and at the mercy of this early blizzard there was nothing they could do to protect their cows.
Farm Aid has already committed funds to get farmers through these disasters. With your help, we can do more. Every dollar you give now will help family farmers immediately. Perhaps most importantly, your donation gives hope to farm families and shows them that people care.
Stay strong and positive,