AGRICULTURE

S.D. lawmaker working to help ranchers hurt by storm

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Farm Forum

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A state senator from western South Dakota says he is trying to find ways to provide financial help for ranchers who lost cattle in the early autumn blizzard.

Sen. Larry Rhoden of Union Center says he started looking at possible legislation that could provide loan guarantees and other help to ranchers who suffered heavy losses. But he says after talking with officials in the state Department of Agriculture, he is now working to determine whether existing programs can be used to help those ranchers.

Rhoden says many western South Dakota ranchers need help to recover from devastating losses.

The October storm brought first rain and then up to 4 feet of snow to western South Dakota, killing nearly 22,000 cattle, 1,400 sheep, 300 horses and 40 bison.