After blizzards in Plains states left thousands of cattle stranded, helicopters began flying hay to the hungry animals.
"These cattle already have gone a number of days without food and water. They're just going to lay over dead if we don't do something soon,'' says Department of Agriculture Executive Director Don Ament.
Cattle losses appear to be low so far, according to Terry Fankhauser, executive vice president of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association. However, Fankhauser warns that ranchers are not in the clear yet, as the rescue work continues.
"I think the impact is somewhat unknown at this time as people still are digging their way to livestock, being able to get food and water into that livestock at this point," he says.
30,000 cattle died in Colorado alone in a similar storm in 1997.