Community Raising Funds For Rim Fire Ranchers

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, November 22, 2013

About a dozen ranchers in Tuolomne County lost between a quarter-and-a-half-million dollars when the Rim Fire killed as many as 300 head of cattle.

Justin Oldfield with the California Cattlemen's Association says a rancher can feel the financial effects of one lost cow for several years.

"When we breed our own cows and a heifer, which has never had a calf, has her first calf and becomes a cow, as an industry you can expect that cow to live eight or nine years as a good, productive cow," he says. 

Oldfield says about $2 million worth of perimeter fencing was also destroyed in the fire.  Ranchers will also have to choose between finding new grazing land for the remaining cows or possibly supplement their feed. 

Seven-hundred people have purchased tickets for tomorrow night's dinner.

Ranchers' losses are not covered under the old farm bill, but ranchers are pushing for retroactive compensation for their losses as congress debates a new farm bill.

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