Heitkamp Meets With Ranchers About Cattle Loss - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Heitkamp Meets With Ranchers About Cattle Loss

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Earlier this month parts of southwestern North Dakota received quite a bit of snow.

The storm might be over but it could take years for ranchers to recover.

To add to all the devastation, those farmers weren't able to get resources they needed because of the government shutdown and lack of a farm bill.

This afternoon Senator Heidi Heitkamp met with ranchers to hear first hand the devastation this storm caused.

<< Dead livestock still litter pastures in parts of southwestern North Dakota.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp is in Hettinger talking to ranchers about their losses.

"This storm was more than just a storm because it could have a lot of after effects in the livestock business for southwest North Dakota and western South Dakota," Dan Christman said.

Dan Christman lost 17 cows and 17 calves in the storm.

The problem he faces now is disposing of the dead animals that are on government land.

"They want us to remove them immediately which we're working on but they don't want us to go in there when it's wet tear up the rangeland that's there so it's gotta dry up or freeze up to get them all removed," Christman said.

Senator Heitkamp says passing a long term farm bill is critical because these ranchers aren't able to get the resources they need.

"Obviously it's not going to cover all of their loss but we can actually keep them in business as opposed to watching so many of these producers who for years have grown their herds and now have been devastated as a result of this," Senator Heidi Heitkamp said.

Heitkamp says once the governor declares a disaster, they also plan on getting in touch with FEMA to help with the damage this storm caused.

"And then we need to know what the FEMA offerings will be and how we can help people get back on their feet even if they didn't experience livestock loss," Heitkamp said.>>

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