Charity dinner offers SDSU students chance to support West River

Editorial Board

Issue: Students’ Association held a Rancher Relief Banquet on Nov. 22 and provided $12,500 to help those affected by Winter Storm Atlas. 



At the start of October, while we were on the verge of our Hobo Day celebration here in Brookings, the West River portion of our state experienced a devastating storm that killed thousands of cattle and in a chain reaction, destroyed the livelihoods of ranchers across the western side of the state. 

Since the storm hit, people from all across the world scrambled to see what they could do to help. The Rancher Relief Fund has raised a total of $1.9 million to give to those affected. A sum this large shows that there is a substantial amount of support behind these farmers, and that people are doing what they can to help out in a time of severe devastation. 

Keep in mind, this storm occurred during the government shutdown, so the affected ranchers received no initial government aid. Instead they turned to the generosity of the community around them, including the eastern region of state, such as the SDSU campus.  

SDSU’s Students’ Association President Ben Stout and Barry Dunn, dean of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, spearheaded efforts on SDSU’s campus, along with the rest of SA, to throw a dinner to help our neighbors to the west. Their vision led to a successful dinner. With 400 attendants and $12,500 raised, the event increased awareness at the university. 

As far as we know, SDSU is the only institution within the Board of Regents that held an event to raise awareness and donations for the Rancher Relief Fund. 

Multiple campus organizations came together at the event to help with the fund, including Greek life, Black Student Alliance, SA members and different agricultural organizations. 

It’s beautiful to see such compassion for a part of our state that sometimes seems so far away. This dinner shows that SDSU cares about those in the state that have been affected by a nationally covered winter storm. The storm came out of the blue, and ruined the main way of life of 6,000 families. In response, people from all over, specifically SA, rose to the occasion and did what they could do to lend a helping hand. 

We are proud to have an institution that has this amount of caring for those who are experiencing a devastating situation, despite the fact that it took place in a different geographical location from our campus.



 Stance: We applaud Students’ Association and those who participated in the event for their compassionate approach to helping ranchers affected by Atlas.