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Community organizes GoFundMe for farmer after over 30 cows die

Published: Jan. 10, 2021 at 7:40 PM MST
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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - One community is working to raise money after a local rancher lost so much.

Back in late December, dozens of cows were found dead just off the roadway in El Paso County.

When people go driving down Highway 94, they are used to seeing dozens of cows in the pasture. It was shocking to see them all dead in a field, so neighbors stepped in to help.

“It was shock, really, because to someone, for someone to lose that many cows, you just wonder what in the world might have caused that,” neighbor Nancy Meiklejohn said.

A mystery at first, it was later revealed too much nitrate in the hay is what killed the 31 cows. An unfortunate accident that stuck with neighbors.

“Clarence raises cattle for a living, you know, this is what he does. And so this really is a very expensive and devastating loss,” Meiklejohn added.

Clarence Balser, the rancher, was born and raised in Elliott. Friends describe him as a hard worker, which is why Meiklejohn organized a GoFundMe to help.

“You know, most farmers and ranchers that I know and have known for my life are usually the last to ask for help. They’re pretty self-sufficient and so they don’t ask for help, but they are the first to offer help,” she explained.

So far the community has raised over $1,500 of its $30,000 goal. Meiklejohn says she wanted to show Balser they are still a community that cares -- even in a time when it feels like so many people are divided.

“With all the negative things that are going on in the world today, you know, I think it’s an opportunity for people to do something good,” she said. “And I think it’s going to just create a more positive world, you know, when we help each other.”

Clarence does know about the fundraiser. Meiklejohn told 11 News he is appreciative of everyone’s support.

- Click here to donate to the GoFundMe.

- Donations can be dropped off in person at any branch of Farmers State Bank in Ellicott, Calhan, and Falcon.

- Donations can also be mailed to the following address:

Farmers State Bank

Attention: Wade Yoder

445 N. Ellicott Highway

Calhan, CO 80808

Put “Relief Fund” in the memo section

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