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Bob Larson Dairy Cattle Winter Storm Losses
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: February 19, 2019

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I’m Bob Larson. It may be mid-February, but this past week gave us the stark reminder that winter NOT over. As you’ve undoubtedly heard, Yakima Valley dairy farmers lost nearly 18-hundred cows to the severe cold, heavy snow and high winds.

Farmers and ranchers across the state spent many sleepless nights protecting their livelihoods.

Chelsi Riordan, with the Dairy Farmers of Washington, says one of the impressive things is really how farmers circled the wagons …

RIORDAN … “The way that all of our farmers have come together to really help each other, you know, the ones that maybe didn’t lose any cows on their farm have been at their neighbors trying to them. And, everyone was working together to get prepared. A lot of farmers worked the 36-hour day over the weekend and were just up all night doing what they could, making sure that the roads were plowed for emergency vehicles and that their employees could get home safely. I mean they’ve just been working around the clock”

Farmers and state officials are still assessing the damage, with the possibility of federal assistance …

RIORDAN … “We’re on to better things. I know a lot of farmers are you know in that process of again just helping each other kind of assess next steps and we have a lot of state agencies that are working together to see what federal assistance may be available for farmers since Governor Inslee did declare a State of Emergency as well for the state so there may be some assistance coming in from that angle as well.”

As a $1.13-billion industry, Washington state ranks 10th in the nation for milk production.

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