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Platte Area Supports Rancher Relief Fund

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Many ranchers in western South Dakota are facing the challenge of rebuilding their herds after an early fall blizzard wiped out tens of thousands of cattle. Wednesday, fellow ranchers got together to help. They took part in a special auction in Platte.

Over 25 cows were donated by fellow ranchers to be auctioned off at the market with all of the proceeds going to the rancher relief fund.

It was a packed house at the Platte Livestock Market. But this isn’t a normal auction for these bidders. They’re here to raise money for Ranchers affected by the October blizzard.

“I’m just glad and thankful that we’re not in that same position where we can help people in the western area,” said rancher and donator John Rasmussen.

John Rasmussen donated one of his steers to the auction, not receiving a penny back.

"I'm glad we donated. The steer showed well. I had good support from my neighbors and friends. I’m very happy,” said Rasmussen.

A life-long rancher himself, donating a steer of his was a way he could show his support.

"If someone gets behind or needs help, we're always here to help," said Rasmussen.

After multiple rounds of just donating money, Rasmussen's cow was bought by his neighbor, Doug Peterson.

Peterson attends the auction every Wednesday, but this time, he has a different motive.

"It's just a good cause. We have a lot of ranchers that need our help. That’s what we are trying to do,” said Peterson.

Peterson says he hopes others would do the same for him, if he was in their position.

"Maybe someday they'll have to send some of that money back. Who knows, something could happen over here, you just never know," said Peterson.

The initial goal was to raise around $50,000. Those at the auction say they’re exceeded their goal and raised around $73,000.

On Monday, the Platte Livestock Market had a hog and sheet sale to raise money for the Rancher Relief Fund too.

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