The North Dakota Stockmen's Association and North Dakota Stockmen's Foundation have teamed up to support the state's cattle ranchers who are suffering through one of the worst droughts in North Dakota history. The non-profit organizations have launched the "Hope for the Heartland" Drought Relief Fund to help North Dakota cattlemen and cattlewomen offset the additional feed, hay, transportation and other drought-related expenses that they have accrued over many months of hot, dry weather that has taken a toll on hayland and pastureland and forced some to sell parts of their herd.

"Many North Dakota cattle producers are struggling from severe and persistent drought conditions from nearly border to border this year," says Steve Brooks, Stockmen's Foundation president and a cow-calf producer from Bowman, N.D. "Cattle-ranching families work for generations to build their herds, and we want to do all that we can to help them keep them together and work through a challenging time."

Stockmen's Association President Warren Zenker, a Gackle, N.D., cow-calf producer and feeder, invited others to join with the groups in providing drought relief to the state's beef producers. "Together, we can help North Dakota cattle ranchers recover some of their extra expenses and reclaim hope after an incredibly difficult year," Zenker said.  

Monetary contributions can be made to the North Dakota Stockmen's Foundation with "Hope for the Heartland" written in the memo and sent to 407 S. Second St., Bismarck, ND 58504. The gifts will pooled and distributed in their entirety in early 2018 through an application process to North Dakota ranchers. A selection committee comprised of fellow ranchers will select and distribute the funds to those most in need.  

The Stockmen's Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, so gifts can be deducted as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.

For more information about the "Hope for the Heartland" Drought Relief Fund or other ways to help, call (701) 223-2522 or visit www.ndstockmen.org.

Application forms for the "Hope for the Heartland" drought assistance can also be downloaded from www.ndstockmen.org. Applications must be received at the Stockmen's office by Dec. 31, 2017, in order to be considered. 

The North Dakota Stockmen's Association is an 88-year-old cattle producers' trade organization that works to unite, protect, promote, educate and serve the state's beef industry. The North Dakota Stockmen's Foundation is a charitable organization that supports the beef industry with scholarship, leadership, promotion, research and building projects. Together, the organizations have distributed more than $300,000 in disaster relief to cattle producers recovering from catastrophic floods, blizzards and wildfires since 2009.