POSTED Monday, October 14, 2013-- 5:30 p.m.
Just one cow lost can be hundreds of dollars lost. In South Dakota tens of thousands of cattle are gone. Ranchers in Dodge County decided to step in.
"To find your cattle laying dead is a devastating thought," said rancher, Diane Sackett.
That thought was a reality for ranchers all over South Dakota earlier in October after a record breaking storm buried thousands of livestock in more than four feet of snow.
"The animals haven't grown their winter hair yet an that's what insulates them," said Sackett.
The storm's early arrival caught ranchers off guard leaving a dwindling livelihood for many of them.
"Losing one animal, you're losing the cow, you're losing that calf, you're losing the breeding and re-breeding," said Sackett. "It can put somebody under really fast."
Diane Sackett's a rancher in Dodge County with livestock of her own.
"Having livestock and knowing the devastation of losing one, we felt that rather than shaking our heads and feeling bad we must be able to do something to help," said Sackett.
The idea for a fundraiser at her ranch started with a Facebook post. Word spread, and now Sackett Ranch will have an open arena for free horse back riding with the hope of gathering thousands in donations-- just one step to help in what Sackett says can be years of recovery.
"It's hard to recover from that. You rebuild a little at a time."
Donations will be sent to the Rancher Relief Fund.
***The fundraiser is at N9320 Fir Road Burnett, WI on Saturday, October 19 from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m.