Blizzard Update

Friday, April 15, 2022

The storm had mostly subsided by Friday, and the ranchers who talked to us for the story had been able to get to most of their livestock. Here are their updates:

Carrie Roth

Bison, South Dakota

We were thankful that the sun came out on Thursday. The wind was still blowing very hard and drifting paths shut behind us, but the power from the sun was very welcome. It thawed the ice off the animals and helped warm them up. The visibility was good enough to assess the cattle and the work that lies ahead. We were finally able to make it to the shed area where all the cattle were. We were thrilled to find no dead calves. They had all made it to the back of the shed where it was bedded with straw. There were a few new babies that joined the bunch, too.

I had prepared myself for the possibilities and was so overjoyed when I saw those faces. You could feel all the heaviness and stress of the past few days lessen dramatically. We lost one for sure that was born in the heart of the blizzard. We know there may be a few that are under snow banks undiscovered yet, and sickness is an issue due to the toll this storm took on those newborn calves. There will undoubtedly be loss yet, even with the extra care we provide. Those mother cows were faced with one of the toughest situations they could have been and did their very best, though. We tried our best to support them.

Dawn Martin

Beulah, North Dakota

We finally made it out to the 100 pairs out in the pasture and so far they look okay. We are so thankful that everything up to this point has weathered the storm fairly well. We will know more in the coming days as to if the stress will cause sickness. Everyone is exhausted but there was a break in the weather today and some blue sky shown through. We had about 60 calves born during the storm, and they haven’t slowed down since then.

Thank you to everyone that has offered their prayers and encouragement. We really appreciate it.

Spring Padden

Ludlow, South Dakota

We have been to all our livestock now, yesterday’s trip to some of them was less than ideal but after 3 days we figured they needed feed and water.

Going to take days to get things back to normal, have to move some of the snow in order to use some of the lots and get things back out of confinement. Hoping not to have to waste too much fuel and time on moving snow, and hopefully let the sun do its job. We worry about sickness and frozen ears in the livestock with the wet and extreme cold at nights!

We are looking forward to some green growth and running water when the temps rise. Also hoping this moisture saved some of the drought-stricken trees.

We are very thankful our losses are very minimal.

“It’s a culling no man can give,” Janie Carlson, Two Dot, Montana, quotes her dad about a spring blizzard. Photo by Janie Carlson.

Janie Carlson

Two Dot, Montana

We are in good shape. Cows are milking good and the calves are strong. Cold temps– still -12, no wind though. Hope this shot of moisture helps everyone…we will lose a few calves from blizzard and after effects, but the moisture in any form is a Go send. Sunshine and cold today. There may be a small snow storm this weekend, but we are ready. We’ve got a great crew, good facilities, and we have waded through a few heavy spring snow storms before, like all the generations before. My dad always would say, “It’s a culling no man can give.” I think that applies to people as well as cows. Here’s to green grass and fat calves.

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