Record breaking winter storm Atlas, broke 94-yea-old records and killed up to 75,000 head of cattle in South Dakota the weekend of October 4th. The weather ranged from 80-mph wind, to 2 inches of rain, to up to 5 feet of snow. Links: North Platte Bulletin Story, Beef Magazine Article, grisly photos from rancher, photos from Beef Magazine.


A rancher named JD Williams said this was a storm made to kill cattle:

“[They got] real wet, got them wet to where their hair really couldn’t do its job and the wind blew on them and kept them wet. It never got cold enough to ice them up, to where they could get insulated,” Link: KCWY 13

Some ranchers lost the majority of their cattle. There are a couple of relief funds setup if you would like to help or show your support: Links: Ranchers Relief fund, Atlas Blizzard Ranch Relief and Aid.

After all that devastation, some non-cattlemen made some derisive comments on CNN and NBC about those who were hit by the storm. Apparently, they think that cattlemen only care about money and don’t know how to prepare for a storm. Here are some answers to the accusations: Click here. Link to CNN article

This catastrophe has sent cattle prices to seven-month highs, and may send them even higher since cattle numbers were already at their lowest levels in 60 years.