$50,000 reward for some missing …

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They’ve been gone a few years — a grand total of 175 of them, mostly between the ages 3 and 7 years old now, according to a story published yesterday at the website of AgWeek. They were the property of cattleman James Larsen, whose father, incidentally, was a trucker.

ATTENTION LIVESTOCK HAULERS: in two ads in Rosholt and Sisseton, S.D., newspapers, Larsen offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to his herd’s return — “175 beef cows, 156 calves from the 2008 crop, plus 32 yearlings from 2007,” wrote reporter Mikkel Pates.

The weirdest thing about the whole story is, well, at the time he took the ad offering the reward, Rosholt, S.D.-based Larsen has already received a summary court judgment against the man who tended the herd in a share-crop arrangement who pled guilty to the theft. The judgment required the man, Riley Braaten, to serve 16 months in jail (time done by now) and pay hundreds of thousands in restitution (ongoing at $100-$200 a month, meaning Larsen will get that money in full more than 200 years from now, Pates wrote, also noting the fact that Larsen had already received a theft-insurance payout relating to the disappearance of the cattle as well).

In the end, though, $50,000 is $50,000, eh? If you hauled a load of cattle from Rosholt between November 2008 and January 2009, you may want to revisit your records.

Read Pates’ full story — a fascinating piece of journalism — here.

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