ND rancher loses cattle and calf during blizzard

Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT
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RHAME, N.D. (KFYR) - This week’s winter storm may prevent some people from working, but it doesn’t stop ranchers from doing their jobs, and it forces them to work overtime to protect their cattle.

Unfortunately, some have lost livestock due to weather conditions.

Trevor Steeke of Rhame knows he’s already lost cattle and calves.

“I know there was two cows already that got covered by snow and the only reason I know that is I seen their heads sticking out, I tried getting them out yesterday,” said Trevor Steeke, Rhame. “I lost a calf that was covered in snow.”

Steeke says it’s scary because each calf will be worth roughly twelve to fifteen hundred dollars in the fall, and he doesn’t know what his herd will look like after the storm.

He and his family are doing everything they can to keep their cows and calves alive, checking on them every hour.

“We bedded the calf shelters, we have barrels that we bedded, put straw in and stuff, we been feeding extra hay yesterday and the last couple days we’ve been feeding extra hay,” said Steeke.

They’re precautions Kelley Ouradnik’s family understands. The Ouradnik’s ranch is by Amidon.

“It’s hard, I mean for us to get to the barns, I feel like I’ve run a marathon, just it is knee to waist high drifts,” said Kelley Ouradnik, Amidon.

The ranchers hope the worst of the blizzard is behind them, and that you keep them, and other ranchers impacted in mind.

“Some people are blessed to have big barns where they can put things in, some people are blessed to have lots of trees to protect. There’s just lots of different situations,” said Ouradnik.

Because no matter the situation, a winter event like this, is hard for every rancher.

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association has yet to receive reports of lost livestock, but said they have heard stories about snowfall totals and repositioning livestock.

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