I have worked very closely with the beef industry over the years. I am very proud to have been honored as a 'Prime Promoter Of The Year' in the past by The South Dakota Beef Industry.

Beef is my personal top choice of food. And I salute the beef producers for not just bringing us the delicacy, but for feeding the world this product that is not only good, but it's good for you.

Here's the latest on the devastation that hit our ranchers a few months ago:

South Dakota's state veterinarian says the number of livestock killed by an early October blizzard could total more than 43,000.

The Associated Press reports that Dustin Oedekoven says that ranchers reported about 24,000 lost cattle, sheep, horses and bison to his office.

But officials with a relief fund set up to help ranchers have said that the more than 600 ranchers who have applied for aid have reported losses of about 43,000 animals.

Oedekoven says he believes reports to his office were lower for a number of reasons, including that some ranchers probably didn't feel justified in reporting their losses when their neighbors were hit harder.

The storm hit Oct. 4th and 5th of 2013 first with rain and then with up to 4 feet of wet, heavy snow in western South Dakota.