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Wisconsin dairy farms hit by storm have more problems on the way

We saw damage to structures across the area after this month’s blizzard hit our area. Tuesday, Wisconsin’s Agriculture Secretary, Sheila Harsdorf, paid a visit to area dairy farms hit hard by the weight of so much snow. She said more problems are on the way for the local dairy economy.

Action 2 News spoke to Jay Vomastic who is the owner of JJ&S Sunrise Dairy Farm in Shawano. He said the storm affects production in an already struggling market and it’ll be quite some time before the dairy community gets back on its feet.

“The way the farming economy was struggling already, to begin with, this is another back breaker for the community that they didn’t need, there was damage to multiple farms,” said Vomastic.

Vomastic said cleanup and rebuilding are only a portion of things he’s worried about with production already down.

“There’s a number of concerns, not only getting the operations back in line, but how much the insurance companies are going to cover in the damages, in some cases we’ve got barns or portions of the barns, the roofs have collapsed but even those that did not, are still not structurally sound,” said Wisconsin Ag Secretary, Sheila Harsdorf.

The state is still looking at how much damage was done and says it’s important for farmers to report any damage to their local farm service agency, as well as look for federal financial aid programs.

Farmers say after the last major snow storm many calves are also getting sick.

“We spent a lot of time bedding them, and now we’re seeing where they’re starting to get sick, so every day we’re seeing calves that we need to vaccinate and treat for that and keep an eye on that,” said Amy Zernicke of Zernicke’s Landstad Daird in the Town of Lessor.

Farmers who saw significant damage said only time will tell how much of a financial hit this storm has cost them.


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