The South Dakota branches of First Interstate Bank and the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation have donated $35,000 to provide much needed assistance to ranchers impacted by the severe storm that affected South Dakota earlier this month. The money donated by First Interstate will go toward the purchase of 33 heifer calves, which will be auctioned at various sale barns through a rollover auction, meaning the calves can be sold more than once. Over 25 sale barns throughout Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota have already agreed to participate, and First Interstate employees are working hard to line up even more.
This type of fundraising auction provides an opportunity to generate substantial donations for the Rancher Relief Fund, which was established by the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, and the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association to provide support and relief assistance specifically to those in the agriculture industry. The Rancher Relief Fund is being managed by the Black Hills Area Community Foundation (BHACF).
“This storm affected our friends, our families, and our neighbors,” said Shawn Rost, President of First Interstate Bank in Sturgis. “It’s our responsibility and our privilege as a regional, community bank to rise to the occasion and help our neighbors in need.”
In addition to its corporate donation, First Interstate is encouraging all of its 1,800 employees and Advisory Board members throughout the Company to contribute to the Rancher Relief Fund. “As stewards of these communities, we feel a strong connection and commitment to the families affected by this devastating storm,” explained First Interstate BancSystem Chairman Tom Scott. “Ranching is a large part of our family’s and our Company’s legacy; we are proud to support our neighbors during their time of need, and encourage others to do the same.”