Local Cattle Headed For South Dakota

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Some Valley farmers are preparing to help other farmers across the country.

Forty heifers in the Valley are being prepped and ready to go to South Dakota.

In October, many farmers in that region lost their herds in an early winter storm.

When Lynn Koontz, a Rockingham County farmer, heard the news, he knew he could help.

"They lost everything they had. They lost this year's income when their calves died. Plus they lost their mamma cows that produce the income. So they were just left with nothing," said Koontz.

The 40 pregnant heifers were all donated from Valley cattle farmers.

"Our 40 is really just like a drop in the bucket. I'm really excited. I can't describe the emotion I have, with the community support," said Koontz.

It's that support that keeps Tom Brunner, a South Dakota farmer, going.

"Knowing that somebody cares, and they understand what you're going through, and they're willing to help," said Brunner.

Brunner is also helping, distributing donated cattle to those most in need, a rewarding but difficult job.

"Young families come up, for the most part I almost have to walk away. It just gets too emotional because their feet are in the fires," said Brunner.

Brunner said the donations won't take away the burn, but it gives them a chance, as the Valley is gladly reaching out.

"This has always been a giving community. Not just the farmers but the whole community. I've got a whole list of people who've donated money, they didn't have cattle to donate, but they said, hey we want to help," said Koontz.

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