RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A deadline for applications for assistance from the Rancher Relief Fund for farmers and ranchers who lost animals during the devastating October blizzard is approaching.

Livestock producers impacted by the blizzard have until Dec. 31 to apply for assistance from the fund, which will be distributed through a number of disaster relief organizations.

The fund seeks to assist those who were hardest hit first and provide financial assistance to as many producers as possible.

It was established by the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association and the South Dakota Sheepgrowers Association at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation.

Cattlemen's president Cory Eich says the outpouring of support for the West River ranchers who lost animals during the blizzard has been overwhelming.

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