Saturday, December 22, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside....

but farmers and ranchers are still out there in these blustery conditions caring for their livestock.

We had a winter storm pass through the Midwest on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. It has been a long time since we've seen snow. Last winter was unseasonably warm and we only received 4 inches of the white stuff. Earlier in the week the temperatures were near 60 degrees, so I was skeptical that the predicted snow would amount to anything, let alone stick to the ground. 

Well I was 100% wrong on my prediction. The storm started on Wednesday night with heavy rain and thunder snow, which was pretty cool. Then the temperatures dropped in a flash. I woke up Thursday morning to howling winds that made it sound like there was a freight train outside.  Not only did the snow stick, but we had large snow drifts on the farm.  The roads were also a mess due to the freezing rain turning to ice. 

The first snow this winter made for some picturesque views on the farm. 

The snow makes everything look so beautiful.

We probably only had a total of 3 inches of snow, but with the 40mph
winds it made some pretty big drifts on the farm. 

These pictures can be deceiving though. What they don't portray is the 40mph winds and the freezing temperatures. Just the snow alone makes me want to stay inside curled up on the couch with a blanket and delicious cup of hot chocolate. Farmers and ranchers don't have this option though. They are out there in these conditions for a good part of the day ensuring the livestock are taken care of.

They bundle up with several layers, and brave the conditions to feed the cattle.  They roll out straw for the livestock so they have a warm and dry place to sleep. They check the cattle's water supply to make sure it hasn't frozen over. They also walk through the herd to ensure none of the animals have hurt themselves on the snow and ice.

The calves are hungry and ready for supper. 

The two red calves were curious. 

Adam filing the buckets up with feed. 

They are patiently waiting on dinner. 

Adam all bundled up and trudging through the snow
to feed the calves. 

Adam feeding hay to the calves. 

Adam cutting the net wrap off of the bale before he puts it in the feeder. 

Adam rolled out a large bale of straw so the calves would have
a warm place to sleep. 

Rolling out a bale of straw for the heifers. 
The heifers loved the straw. They were jumping in it and kicking
their feet in the air after Adam rolled the bale out. 

When the temperatures drop below freezing we have to check the
waterer everyday to make sure it hasn't froze over.

Farmers and ranchers don't get snow days. In fact, the snow and ice make it much more difficult and time consuming to take care of the livestock.  Even in these harsh conditions we are still grateful for the snow because we are in dire need of the moisture. We've been in a drought all year so we are welcoming any form of moisture, even if it comes with 40mph winds and freezing temps.

If you're lucky enough to not have to work outside in these conditions please take a moment and thank the people who are out there everyday.  It's not just farmers and ranchers who are out there braving the cold, there are several other occupations that require their workers to be outside too.  We are thankful for the linemen who make sure the power is on, the transportation crews who are out there making sure the roads are cleaned off and safe.  The FedEx, UPS, and USPS drivers who deliver our packages and mail. The construction workers who are building new homes and offices. The police officers and firefighters who are out there working accidents and keeping us safe.

Thank you to all of these people who brave the frigid conditions to make our lives a little easier in this cold weather! Stay safe on the roads this winter and be sure to bundle up!


  1. Really enjoying your posts Melissa! We live on a cattle farm in Manitoba CANADA... I am lucky enough to work inside (I operate a home-based business), and I am reminded DAILY in the Winter months how lucky I am to be inside where it's warm... as I regularly see my husband come in with icicles on his beard and numb fingers and toes! It's not uncommon here in Manitoba to have temps as cold as -35 Celcius... and that's WITHOUT the windchill! With the windchill we can get as cold as -50 Celcius! I wish you a Very Merry Christmas and much success and fun on the farm in 2013! :)

  2. Great pictures and thanks to you and Adam for working hard to raise healthy beef!

  3. Love the pictures! Brings back many memories of bundling up and heading to the barn even when the fireplace was calling my name. Thanks for all you guys do for the beef industry!


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