April 16, 2018

Heavy Snow Buries Wisconsin Farms

 |  By: Mike Opperman

A literal perfect storm hit Wisconsin and Minnesota this weekend, coming at a time when some farmers were itching to get into the fields. That itch will have to be scratched at a later date, as Blizzard Evelyn dumped as much as two feet of snow throughout the upper Midwest. 

The heavy snow and strong winds made roads nearly impossible to navigate. Drifting was significant as well. Normally snow drifts are relatively easy to manage, but with the wet, heavy nature of this snow made any drift dangerous if it sat on any building structure. Several dairies in Wisconsin will be repairing barn roofs as a result. Here's what we've gleaned from social media:

Kinnard farms

A five-foot drift built up on the roof of the milking parlor at Kinnard Farms, near Casco in northeast Wisconsin. With more snow in the forecast, a team of 12 men worked two hours in 30 mph winds to clear the roof. 

Pagel's Ponderosa, near Kewaunee, had the roof collapse on a barn housing 1,100 cows. All the cows escaped unharmed, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. But one cow was killed and another had to be euthanized at Jay and Jena Betley's dairy near Pulaski when a barn roof collapsed there.

Keith Brunner of Cedar Red Dairy near Denmark, Wis. was milking cows when he heard cracking noises, followed by the roof collapsing. All workers made it out safely, but as of the news report some cows still remained trapped. WFRV in Green Bay, Wis. reported on the collapse. 


The roof of a barn collapsed at Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy, near Kewaunee, Wis. east of Green Bay.  According to the dairy's Facebook post, no people or animals were injured in the collapse and they are thankful for the help of friends, neighbors and county officials who helped. 

Reports show better weather for the middle of the week, with more freezing rain and snow forecast for the weekend. 

And in the category of history repeating itself, here are pictures of Aaron Brown and his dad on the left, and Aaron Brown and his son on the right, with 35 years--to the day-- in between.

snow photo

Have a photo of the snow storm that you would like to share? Send them to me at [email protected] or share on our Facebook page at or tag us on Instagram at @FarmJournalMilk