Tens of Thousands of Cattle Dead Due to Winter Storm Atlas

Dead carcasses lay along US Highways 212 & 34. Courtesy of Kristina Barker, Rapid City Journal

Dead carcasses lay along US Highways 212 & 34. Courtesy of Kristina Barker, Rapid City Journal

A lot of things have changed since I last posted a year ago. For one, I no longer am at Colorado State University as an Animal Science and Equine Science double major, to my heart’s dismay. I am now at Boise State University and studying Psychology with a minor in Biology so I can go on to acquire my masters and doctorate in Neuropsychology. I still have the pup and love of agriculture though, so don’t you fret. No matter how hard psychology will try, there is no way anyone or anything can take the love of cattle and agriculture and the people who make up it’s wonderful world away from me. I swear I am one of the few and the proud who rock my Tony’s on campus. And I wouldn’t ever think of being ashamed of it.

Anyways…

I return, after a long hiatus, to make a post that is not full of excitement. To be quite frank and direct, I wish I didn’t feel the aching in my heart to post in Rancher’s Daughter because that would mean that I could go back to studying for my anatomy and physiology lab quiz that I have tomorrow about human bones. However, this is something I could not simply ignore.

Enter: Winter Storm Atlas. Mother Nature apparently let her wrath go on Western South Dakota these past few days. And I do not say that in a joking or over exaggerate matter. Reports have been coming to light about a very heavy snowfall that came on in lightning speeds. Literally feet of snow was dumped on the Dakota plains and it is going to take an astronomical toll, emotionally, physically, and financially, on the ranchers that make up it’s population. I first read about Atlas in Rapid City Journal’s piece that was published today (October 8th, 2013). My heart ached and then broke into a million pieces. Ten’s of thousands of cattle are dead because of this storm. Tens of thousands. And, that isn’t even close to a final number yet.

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Photos of Winter Storm Atlas Casualties- WARNING! GRAPHIC IMAGES!

All of the below pictures are from Big Balls In Cow Town

These images are graphic and contain images of dead cattle. However, in my opinion, they are important to share as they are the damages that the ranchers of this devastating storm are having to face. See my original post about Winter Storm Atlas for more background.

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Dairies pamper cows with massages

Dairies pamper cows with massages

Stuff like this makes for such a great day! TODAY.com did a fantastic job of not portraying the dairy industry poorly. They may use a tone that reflects their confusion with the practices that are going on, but it is a confusion that is built upon curiosity. They give examples of all the things dairy farmers are trying to do to make their cows happy. They even provide the amount of money it cost one dairyman to ensure his cows contentment.

The author does a really good job of providing multiple quotations regarding how important the dairy cows happiness matters to the farmer. Yes, income plays a role in that, but a $70,000 installment of waterbed flooring doesn’t seem like the kind of thing just anyone does for their cows. Dairy cows are so loved and so spoiled and the dairymen and women that love and spoil them do it because they love to. It is hard work that never seems to stop.

I thought it of critical importance to provide another article that highlights the good things agriculture is doing. AGPROUD!