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Our hearts and prayers go out to our fellow neighbors and ranchers in South Dakota who are not only dealing with huge losses from last week's incredibly under-predicted blizzards, but also from the onset of negativity that under-educated and mis-informed people have been making.
From our ranch to yours, we pray continuously for your recovery. Kudos to those of you who, although may be far from understanding what it takes to be in the ranching industry, still send prayers and help to everyone that was affected by these horrendous storms in both Wyoming and South Dakota. Just like any National or International tragedy, this too, is an equal tragedy that will have a lasting effect not just on these incredibly strong and courageous Ranchers in both states, but also on everyone directly or indirectly related to the livestock industry, everywhere.
I am married to a Rancher, to his ranch and to his family of incredibly hard working folks, so I know you will believe me when I say that Ranchers are very strong willed people, and those affected by the storm will get through this. Ranchers are not one to reach out for help, as they are very used to getting through plenty of hard times with just the strength in their hard working hands and backs, and the love of their lifestyle that has been in their hearts for generations. They don't ask for hand-outs, and they don't wait around for someone else to come pick up the pieces. They simply get through it and they get it done. They've seen more beautiful times than most will ever encounter in the work world and they've seen more hard times than most of us will when it comes to working for a living, and yet they carry on. Why? because ranching is in their blood, it cannot be shaken, it cannot be replaced by anything else. It is why families have carried on the ranching traditions for generations upon generations. It is why some of the strongest men and women on this earth are 70+years old and still able to work circles around most. It is a passion that most cannot understand, but most certainly are intrigued by. It is a group of people who remind us what honesty and integrity is all about, and it is a group of people who will weather any storm, at any time, and never, ever give up. All for the sake of their family, their lifestyle, their livestock and the undeniable passion for what they do, that drives them. So when you see a negative comment from a poorly mis-informed or mis-guided person, simply pray for that person, and follow it up with a positive comment.
These ranchers don't need to feel the pressure of having to explain why an under-predicted but record breaking blizzard wreaked havoc on the livestock that they give their blood, sweat and tears to raise, and neither do the people who are trying to help them. You won't hear a rancher complaining, but if you look close enough you will see it in their eyes. And when you see that kind of pain and sorrow in the eyes of a rancher, you can be sure its the kind of pain and sorrow that sits deep within their hearts, and never, ever goes away. Godspeed to every rancher affected by this horrific and devastating storm.
There are 5 resources you can check out if you can help out in any way, and you can find those resources here. If you can't help that's okay, you can still pray for the recovery of their industry, and for their broken hearts: http://beefmagazine.com/blog/5-resources-south-dakota-ranchers-hit-october-blizzard
( P.S. for those who like to tear every single detail apart for the sake of hearing themselves negate every little thing, and spark controversy regarding this blizzard, the attached black and white image of the cowboy is not an image affiliated with the blizzard in any way shape or form, it was taken by me in 2004 of a rancher in Arizona, who has also seen a tough time or two, and I thought it was a fitting photo for the moment.)
God Bless and Godspeed!
Professional Western Photographic Artist and Photography Instructor
Shooting for Christ, Focusing on God