The extreme winter weather currently affecting a substantial portion of the U.S. population also significantly adds to the workload and stress of America’s farmers, ranchers, and agriculture services providers.
During frigid temperatures, farmers and ranchers face obstacles such as tractors and trucks not starting, equipment breaking down, waterlines and livestock waterers freezing, livestock requiring feeding during blizzard and severe windchill conditions, and driveways needing to be cleared of snow for feed and fuel deliveries. Many livestock farmers and ranchers have cows calving and ewes lambing during the month of January. As a result, long hours are spent monitoring pregnant animals and reviving chilled calves and lambs, knowing that–despite their best efforts–the extreme cold will often kill newborns. Even adult livestock health can be compromised during extreme cold. Feed costs increase as farmers and ranchers must raise the energy levels of feed rations to counter higher calories burned by animals to keep warm.
Farmers and ranchers are supported by businesses that provide critical agriculture services. These services may include the veterinarian who drives on icy roads to deliver a breached calf, the truck driver who forces their vehicle through snowdrifts to deliver necessary feed and fuels, the equipment repair technician who endures extreme cold to repair a much-needed tractor or truck, the electrical linesman exposed to the full brunt of windchill and snow to repair downed power lines, or the rural hospital ambulance crews who selflessly respond to medical emergencies during a blizzard, along with many others.
Thank you, farmers, ranchers, and agriculture service providers, for your faithful stewarding of God’s creation and providing food security for the nation and to the world, even during periods of dangerously cold temperatures. You are heroes!