North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation awards nearly $200,000 in disaster funds

Farm Forum

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation (NDSF) awarded nearly $200,000 in relief to North Dakota and South Dakota ranch families through its Aid for Atlas Disaster Relief Fund. The NDSF issued the last of its relief checks to producers who suffered catastrophic losses in the infamous winter storm, Atlas, which ravaged southwestern North Dakota and western South Dakota Oct. 4-5, 2013, and claimed the lives of an estimated tens of thousands of cattle, sheep and horses in the region.

“Atlas took a tremendous toll on many ranchers this year,” said Towner, N.D., cow-calf producer Jason Zahn, who is the president of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) and Foundation. “We are proud to have helped bring some relief – some hope – to those producers in their time of despair.”

The NDSF initiated the Aid for Atlas Disaster Relief Fund and coordinated the grassroots effort, pooling its own dollars with those of the NDSA and many generous donors from across the country to support ranchers whose lives were turned upside down following the storm.

The NDSF administered its own application and nomination program for North Dakota producers who were impacted. Recipients were selected by a special selection committee, which evaluated the applications and selected recipients based on need. Of the total dispersed, approximately $163,000 was provided in direct aid to North Dakota livestock producers.

“The disaster relief applications were filled with stories of tragedy and triumph,” said Zahn. “We empathize with what they went through to protect and care for their herds during that incredible storm.”

The NDSF also contributed approximately $30,000 to the South Dakota Ranchers Relief Fund to assist neighboring producers who were hard hit in the storm.

Zahn said that recipients have been very grateful for the help. One noted in his message of thanks, “This will make the difference for my family and my operation.”

Zahn expressed his appreciation to all those who contributed to the Aid for Atlas Disaster Relief Fund – from private individuals and businesses to youth and civic organizations, breed associations and church groups – from across the United States.

The NDSF is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that supports beef-related scholarship, leadership, research, promotion and building objectives. To learn more about its efforts or to make a tax-deductible donation, call (701) 223-2522 or visit >ND Stockmen’s Foundation.