Terry and Cheryl Hammerstrom lost 90 percent of their herd when winter storm Atlas hit South Dakota last October. “One of the first things that came to my mind after the blizzard, and I know it sounds kind of silly in the scope of things, but it was that, gosh, we wouldn’t be able to buy Christmas presents for the grandchildren,” said Cheryl. But all was not lost. The 2014 Farm Bill allowed for disaster assistance to be made available to farmers and ranchers affected by natural disasters. The financial assistance didn’t cover all of their losses, but it was a huge help. Lynn Stoltenburg of the South Dakota Farm Services Agency said a total of $37.1 million had been distributed, mostly to ranchers in the area of the storm, but some to other areas of the state, too, after about 1,670 applications were made at FSA offices. He said that as of Oct. 1, only about 100 requests were pending. Read more (Tri-State Neighbor).
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