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16 Minnesota Dairy Barns Collapse Due to Heavy Snowfall

The partially collapsed barn where cows wait to be hauled away by neighbors and fellow farmers at North Creek Dairy, which is owned by the Hoffman family, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, near Chatfield after the roof of their barn partially collapsed because of heavy snow.

The record-breaking snowfall totals have not only been a huge problem for drivers but for dairy farmers as well.

Throughout the state, at least 16 dairy barns have collapsed due to the weight of the snow. Lucas Sjostrom is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association. He says his family went through a similar situation several years back.

In 2011 this actually happened to my home farm. Back then we had ample insurance and we were lucky, so six months later things were as good as normal. However, getting back to those six months you’re dealing with injuries, construction and other things that are unexpected for the year.

Sjostrom says each situation is different, but insurance and other programs should help farmers dealing with any milk production losses. He says while it’s a stressful time for farmers their organization is doing what they can to help.It’s hard to be in touch with the farmer right now, we’re mostly trying to be in touch with a second party right now. I know at least one place had an inoperable situation in southeast Minnesota and had to uproot the cows and move them to a different facility.

Sjostrom says it could be a few months before farmers get operations back to normal, which will affect milk production across the state.

He adds if everyone could buy another gallon of milk at the grocery store that would help with the loss of production.

Of the farms impacted, roughly 12 are in the southern part of the state, while the rest are in the middle of the state, including a farm in Little Falls.


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