More than $90,000 has been raised for the "South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares Fund" to help ranch families with immediate financial needs after the October "Atlas" blizzard.  The funds are intended to help cover groceries, utility bills, medical bills, or whatever might be helpful to the families or their households. 

We are now accepting application forms and referrals. We are beginning to distribute these funds.  Here's how to apply or make a referral:

"SDFB Cares Fund" application form

(If you have trouble opening the form, you may need to download the free Adobe Reader)

The application form is brief and confidential. Referrals are confidential.  Farm Bureau members will receive priority when making decisions regarding the distribution of funds.

When you open the file above, it will say "Catholic Social Services Disaster Assistance" at the top.  You can be, but do not need to be, a member of a Catholic Church to apply.  In order for the people's donations to be tax-deductible, SDFB is working through the South Dakota Community Foundation for this fund.  The Community Foundation is required to distribute funds through a 501c3 non-profit, and Catholic Social Services has agreed to help out in this arrangement. 

Do you know of a rancher who could use help?

Referrals are also accepted.  We understand that it is difficult to ask for help, and many who could probably benefit may not apply.  If you know of a fellow Farm Bureau member, a neighbor, or a friend who could use this assistance, please submit their name.  There are 3 ways to make a referral:

  1. Fill out the application form on that person's behalf and send it in.
  2. Contact your County Farm Bureau president and give them the name of the person.
  3. Contact Lowell Mesman (, 605-280-1319), SDFB West River Regional Manager, and give him the name of the person.

All referrals are confidential and your name will not be mentioned.  Thank you so much for helping us get these funds into the hands of the people who could benefit from them!