When a big winter storm is in the forecast, the news pays a lot of attention to bread, milk, eggs, rock salt, and closures. On a farm, the work must be done whatever the weather, and our team needs to prep accordingly! Our first storm of the season found our team ready, though fortunately there was no accumulation this time!
The number one priority, as always, is checking the water: checking for washouts, making sure nothing’s too high or too low, making sure there’s no water on the dam itself. Team members year-round rotate the responsibility of doing a complete check of entire farm, including weekends. “In order to make sure that gets done during bad weather as well, we need to make sure the main pathways are cleared,” says COO Bryan vonHahmann. “If a lot of snow is expected, we send the front loaders home with the guys so if we get a lot of accumulation, they’re able to plow themselves out and start clearing the main dams. Then the other guys are able to go check the water, reservoirs, bogs, all that.”
The Equipment/Facilities team also takes some precautionary measures, making sure generators are ready to go in case we lose power for an extended amount of time. They also make sure the heat is turned up in any vacant properties onsite, just in case. “We also pack the shop with equipment to work on,” says manager Louis Cantafio. “That way, we don’t have to dig it out, or start it in the cold, or fill the shop with melting snow. We’ll also look over all the loaders, make sure they’re greased and fueled and ready to go in case the operators need to bring them home.”
The next storm, when and if it comes, will find our team ready once again!