For most people the forecast of a major winter storm requires a little planning. Make sure you have groceries and other errands done so you can stay at home and drive as little as possible. If you have a long drive and absolutely have to be at work go early and stay in a hotel. In addition you may pack a bag in case you cannot get home. For farmers with livestock a lot more planning is required.

Saturday I was hauling corn to a feed mill about mile from my farm. Normally they are not grinding feed on Saturdays. They were mixing feed this Saturday because of the winter storm forecast for Monday. For biosecurity many of the hog buildings are isolated. They haul with semi tractor trailers, that does not work well in a snow storm and poor visibility!

Winter storms present special challenges for milk truck drivers. Many dairy farmers have bulk tanks that can hold two days of milk production but some need to be picked up every day. Pigs that were scheduled to be hauled to a processing plant can stay in the barn for another day or two with plenty of feed and water. Milk is a perishable product that has to be cooled. When the bulk tank is full the milk is dumped.

The dedication of milk truck drivers is really something to admire. They know all the dairy farmers on their routes and their milking schedules. They will make stops in the middle of the night to beat the storm so the dairy farmer has enough room in the bulk tank to ride out the storm. This is just a couple examples of the dedicated professionals in our incredible food production system!