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Resilience in the Eye of Winter Storm Atlas: Rancher Kenny Brown Looks Back One Year Later

October 02, 2014

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Oct. 02, 2014) — On Oct 3, 2013, winter Storm Atlas blew into western South Dakota, bringing heavy rain, 80 mph winds and 30 inches of snow1. When the devastating storm was over, as many as 30,000 cattle had died and cattle ranchers struggled to get back to business as usual. Many ranchers will never forget that day. Neither will Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS) agents.


“I didn’t realize it was that bad,” says rancher Kenny Brown. “My neighbor called and said he found some of my cattle over seven miles away.” Brown had been a FBFS client/member with agent Jeff Jasper for more than 14 years when the storm hit. Brown noted the heavy wet snow was a big issue in the days following the storm.


“It was four days before we could even get to the highway and there were cattle we never did find.”  In the end, Brown lost 91 cows, 36 calves and 3 bulls – almost one-third of his herd – and possibly his plans to retire in 2014.


“The impact for me as an agent was big,” reflects Jasper. “I knew Kenny was covered, but I also knew he wouldn’t have been able to retire, if he hadn’t had that insurance.” Jasper says one of the reasons Brown’s story has a happy ending was his willingness to have annual reviews and update his inventory regularly. By keeping his business records current, Brown was able to recover most of his losses.


One year later, Kenny Brown has sold his livestock and rents his pastures to neighbors. He is retired and living comfortably, the way he planned. Watch Kenny Brown’s winter Storm Atlas video, Meet Kenny Brown as well as other videos on the FBFS YouTube channel.






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