Nation appreciates South Dakota farm and ranch families

HURON, S.D. (DRG News) – After watching the May 3 episode of 60-minutes on the current financial struggles in American agriculture, a retired L.A. County, California law enforcement officer wanted to reach out to tell farm and ranch families in South Dakota and across the country people in urban areas do care.

So, Jack Bilheimer reached out to South Dakota Farmers Union president Doug Sombke, one of the farmers featured on the program. Bilheimer says he and his wife Alexis, listened to the fourth-generation Conde, S.D., area crop and cattle farmer explain the devastating impact of low markets, the Trade War and price gouging.

Bilheimer says he was teary-eyed when he heard about the high suicide rate among farmers and ranchers. He was also surprised to learn farmers and ranchers are losing $250 on each cow that goes to market. That adds up. It is huge.

Sombke says Bilheimer wasn’t the only person to reach out. Phone calls, texts and e-mails began pouring in from across the nation.

Sombke says it was humbling, and a little emotionally overwhelming, to hear from so many consumers, living in large cities across the U.S. He says it’s not that consumers don’t care. It’s that they simply didn’t know what was going on in farm and ranch country.