Winter Storm Preparations – Ranch Style

In the past couple weeks we have had two winter storms come through. One was an ice storm and the other a “normal” winter storm predicting several inches of snow. In both cases, the storm prep protocol was enacted. You may notice some differences from the way most people prepare.

Stocking Up Before the Storm

Most people’s checklist: Milk, bread, toilet paper, beer, sidewalk deicer, and gas.

Ranch checklist: Milk, ingredients for the bread machine, toilet paper, beer, diesel, chicken feed, heat tape for cattle fountain water lines, splice links to fix the tractor tire chains.


“To-Do” List Before the Storm

Most people’s to-do list: go to grocery store and gas station, make sure there is enough pet food, prepare to work from home

Ranch to-do list: go to grocery store, call the station to fill the fuel barrel, service the generator, feed and bed all the animals (sometimes hundreds or thousands of them), check predicted wind direction of the storm to know which side of the driveway to park the tractor to avoid it being encased in drifts


During the Storm

Most people’s activities: Stay inside as much as possible, watch the news/check social media for alerts, go outside and scoop the sidewalk as needed

Ranch activities: Go outside to feed or check on the animals morning and night, watch the news/social media for the latest snowfall totals, scoop the sidewalk and driveway and sometimes road to get out for chores


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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One Response to Winter Storm Preparations – Ranch Style

  1. Pingback: Sure Signs of Spring? | Fence Post Diaries

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