Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Farming

Even in the winter months with the ground frozen and nothing growing farmers are still farming. There is a surprising consensuses that farmers get the winter months off but oh the contrary is true. No, we aren't in the fields but there is much, much more to farming than just cruising in the tractors. There is plenty to do on the farm to keep farmers and ranchers busy year round and then some.

Today in Missouri (and the entire mid-west) we are under a winter weather advisory. In fact, the radio just announced a state of emergency because the sky is layering the ground with an inch of snow every hour and the wind she is a blowing causing whiteout conditions.
Luckily, Aaron crammed the trucks in the shed and got the tractor and blade ready last night in preparation for today. There is a very good reason why farmers are obsessed with the weather and I am grateful for it, especially today.

But what about the livestock? Sure, we have tractors for pushing snow complete with cabs, heat, and air-ride seats but how are our pigs faring in this frosty weather?

Good news! Not only do we have heated cab tractors but we also have heated barns specially made for the pigs. You won't find frosty snouts and frozen hooves on our farm; instead, you'll find warm pigs with plenty of food and water. We didn't even have to break the ice for them to drink!

These huge furnaces are throughout the barn and work just like a furnace in a house. When the temperature drops the furnace kicks on until the barn reaches the toasty temperature we designate in the computer. We also have brooder heaters for the little pigs but once they are big enough to generate their own heat we take these brooders down. We also have a generator, which Aaron checked on this morning, in case the power goes out.

Despite whiteout conditions, 40-mile-per-hour winds, and freezing temperatures farmers and ranchers are out checking on their herds--both indoor and outdoor. No matter where the herd is raised--climate controlled barns, pastures, or hoop houses--farmers still have to brave the weather to get to their animals every single day. 

 What are you doing on this snowy day?

Off the subject: Is it normal to have thunder and lightening during a snow storm or am I the only one that finds that odd?


  1. I made a similar entry in my blog. It is great to see a fellow farmer/rancher sharing our story with everyone. Great job!

  2. Thanks Cheryl. Always great to hear from a fellow Missouri farmer! I checked out your blog too! Your sign off made me chuckle. Good meeting you.