Dettmann Farms Moving Cows
January 15, 2018

Rural Neighbors Help Wisconsin Family After Parlor Fire

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

As a dairy producer, you’re used to getting the occasional call in the middle of the night. Maybe the vacuum pump is down, the power is out or the tank cooler isn’t working. Imagine getting a call that the barn is on fire. That was the case for one Wisconsin family over the weekend. Sue Dettmann says when their parlor caught fire on Saturday morning, the morning crew did their best to stave off the flames until the fire department could arrive.



“The fire departments that came did a great job working together to get it out, especially in such cold weather,” she wrote on their farm’s Facebook page. “They were able to keep the fire contained to the bathroom/laundry room, kitchen, office, and holding area, without it spreading to the milk house and the attached freestall barn. The milking parlor's roof was on fire and it has fallen down in some areas, but the milking equipment looks oddly in place, although covered in ice and soot, stinking of smoke, and I would assume melted in places.”



While the freestall barn and milk house attached to the parlor were saved, the 500 milking cows on their farm needed a temporary home immediately. Fortunately, two neighboring farms had capacity to take the cows.

“We are beyond thankful to them for their willingness to take on so many cows with basically no warning,” she wrote. “We know this increase in cows is a lot to handle.”



The next hurdle would be getting the cows to their new homes in time for milking. Like the farming community always does, Dettmanns’ neighbors started trickling in to help.

“We were blessed to be able to use a semi from a neighboring farm for one load,” Sue wrote. “Then, the trailers started showing up. So many people put their Saturday plans on hold to help us take load after load of cows to their temporary homes. Despite the cold weather, everyone pulled together to get these cows loaded up as quickly and calmly as possible.”



The Dettmanns say they will never be able to thank the community enough for all of their support. The fire crews, neighbors who helped move cows, and even the people who brought food made what was no doubt a horrible experience, more bearable.



Isn’t that the best thing about rural America? Rural neighbors show up for each other, every time.



Photo Credit: Dettmann Farms