Damage of Carlson dairy operation. Photo: Kare 11 TV.
June 12, 2017

High Winds Tear Through Minnesota Dairy Farm  

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

High winds, and possibly a tornado, tore through Carlson Dairy yesterday near Pennock, MN, forcing the operation to re-locate some 300 milking cows out of their total of 1,700. Heifer facilities were badly damaged and heifers had to be relocated, says Lucas Sjostrom, executive director of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association.

The cows were moved to another operation, which had just recently completed a new facility. Heifers were taken to five different feedlots in the area.

So far, no animals have died though a few were injured with cuts and abrasions. Though the roof collapsed in some areas, it was held up by the steel headlocks and freestalls, allowing the cattle to survive. The storm hit just after 7 a.m. Sunday. The farm’s milking parlor was back in operation by Sunday evening.

Within hours, hundreds of volunteers from across Minnesota and even a few from Wisconsin showed up to help.  "It kind of gives me goosebumps," Carl Carlson told KSTP News. "It's really amazing. I've seen pictures of this happening at other farms and you hear about people coming and helping, and I don't think you get it until it happens to you."

Carl and his wife Kellie, and Carl's brother Chad and his wife Kindra, operate the dairy. Kindra serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Milk Producers Association. The farm has been in the family since 1891.

For TV news coverage of the disaster, go here and here.