Blizzard February 2, 2016

We spent a lot of time last night bringing the cows home from their winter corn stalks and getting hay bales set out for them.


Because of winter storm “Kayla”, which was predicted to bring 8-12″ of snow along with 40 mph winds to our little corner of the world.

Livestock can handle harsh weather pretty well. This is an extreme situation in which shelter and feed can be lifesaving. We even went out this morning after the storm started to make sure they were in a sheltered spot.

Unfortunately, hubby’s trip ended with me having to mount a rescue mission after his pickup got stuck in the pasture. It might have to stay there for a day or two.

The late afternoon foray was more successful. Cows were located and followed hubby into their “blizzard” pen. The blizzard pen is a small paddock with trees on all four sides and rows of trees in the interior that provide additional shelter.

Once the snow lightened up a bit, the farm boys even went out to play in the snow.

boys playing in snow drifts in the blizzard of 2016

Of course, farm dog had to get in the fun too.


All in all, it was a pretty good day given the severity and dangerous characteristics of this storm. All the planning ahead meant that the animals – cows, chickens, dog and cats were all well fed and sheltered.

The humans are all warm, dry, and accounted for too. That makes this farm mom very happy.

That, and the bottle of wine I picked up on my pre-blizzard grocery run.

Did I mention that I REALLY like to plan ahead?


About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at
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