PHOENIX -- South Dakota ranchers lost tens of thousands of cattle in the recent blizzard and now the Yavapai County Farm Bureau is sending them a check for $10,000 to help get them back on their feet.
Kacie Tomerlin is a fifth-generation rancher in the Verde Valley and said cattle numbers were already at the lowest numbers since the 1950s. It will be felt at the grocery stores.
"This is an event that affects everyone. Producers and consumers will feel it nationwide."
South Dakota ranks sixth nationally in livestock production. Tomerlin said it could take decades for ranchers to recover.
"This is historic. It's heartache because it took many lifetimes of work to get to where the South Dakota ranchers were," Tomerlin said. "Many of them are just having a hard time getting groceries. Their accounts are dry."
She said ranchers don't do what they do to get rich, they do it because they love it.
"We know this can happen but you can't prepare for it."