Sue Dettmann, along with the entire Dettmann Dairy Farms crew shares the following:
Today has left me speechless. I really don’t know how we can ever thank all of the people who stepped in and helped us when we needed it so much.
Our parlor caught fire around 3:30 this morning. Mike and his morning milking crew tried to get it out, or at least a little more manageable, while the fire crew was on their way.
The fire departments that came did a great job working together to get it out, especially in such cold weather. We thank them for working so hard to get it taken care of. There were so many different departments that came, and others that covered the fire stations of the departments that were here. They were able to keep the fire contained to the bathroom/laundry room, kitchen, office, and holding area, without it spreading to the milkhouse 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.
As soon as the fire was out, our immediate need was to get the cows milked. We received many offers of places for our cows to go and greatly appreciate them all. Fortunately, we have two farms near us that between the two of them, actually had room enough to take all of our cows. We are beyond thankful to them for their willingness to take on so many cows with basically no warning. We know this increase in cows is a lot to handle. (I do need to say that Drew’s fair cow, Rain, ended up just down the road from us when my awesome farm friend realized I needed her to be closer to home than the others and she had room to squeeze Rain in. I’d like to say that the kids were crying/insisting, but it was actually me.)
Then came the task of moving the cows. 500 cows are a lot to move considering most trailers can hold about 9 or so full grown cows. We were blessed to be able to use a semi from a neighboring farm for one load, which could hold many more. 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.
And I really can’t forget to thank the people who brought food. The coffee and breakfast sandwiches right away, and then the food that showed up all day long to feed the hungry people coming into the shed to warm up. Food people rock. As do friends who snatch my 2 littlest kids up and take them rollerskating to get them good and tired (and fed) for me.
So now, our freestall barn is empty and eerily quiet. Our calves and dry cows are still here at least, but we will now be figuring out how to rebuild the parlor and get our girls back home.
Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers today.