Hurricanes, floods, fires and blizzards. Working with Mother Nature is a chore in the best of times. For farmers and ranchers who find themselves in the aftermath of a natural disaster, the devastation of a lifetime’s work is overwhelming.

Lee Crock, Angus cattleman from Mechanicsville, Iowa, experienced that after a derecho storm (land hurricane) in August.

“I got a call from my daughter and she said, ‘Dad you need to come home… there’s been a lot of damage to our farm.’ I pulled in and hardly recognized the place,” he said.

In 10 minutes, their farm suffered nearly a million dollars in damage.

When wildfire season hit, ranchers across the West felt his pain too.

In Washington, Dale Smith raises Angus cattle on the same ground his family has ranched for more than a century. Wildfires this year took all his pasture, hay and 300 of his cows.

He didn’t lose faith.

“We’re cattlemen, we raise cows,” Smith said. “It’s what we do and what we will always do.”

The tenacity of ranchers like these inspired the Certified Angus Beef ®  Rural Relief Fund. Launched in 2019, the fund helps producers recover and rebuild after natural disasters. Donations and sales of Sheltering Generations — The American Barn coffee table book produced by the brand raised $20,000. Funds were used to support farming and ranching families affected by these two extreme weather events and build resources to help others in the future.

To purchase the book or donate visit:

Read more stories from the 2020 Brand Update here.