RAPID CITY, S.D. — Its often not an easy road for farmers and ranchers.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled livestock shows, certainly didn’t help.
“It takes away an opportunity is what it does,” said Neil Watje, of the Watje Cattle Company.”You know, I mean if you take five or ten animals there every year and you sell em’ there, that’s five or ten that you gotta figure out somewhere else to sell this year, so it definitely makes it tougher.”
But annual events for producers to show off their stock, like the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo, provide needed and quality opportunities to get their stock back on top.
“It’s another really good market place for us as well as all the ranches involved that potentially get some new buyers, possibly taught meat ranchers that (are) from different parts of the country,” said Kevin Van Zandbergen, of the DeJong Ranch.
But fewer opportunities nationwide have brought more competition for those growing livestock with their brand to earn a living.
“One of the ways we distinguish ourselves I think and most any other ranch is try to bring your quality cattle and let the people see ’em,” Van Zandbergen said.
But no matter what happens, pandemic or not, producers still go to work.
“Ranchers gotta keep workin’ whether the world’s shut down or not,” Van Zandbergen said. “Cattle always need to be fed, and cows are gunna calve regardless of what’s happening.”
Producers moving forward through with a livelihood and food chain on the line.