25 June 2018 - Thank God for Good Neighbors

As we wind down June Dairy Month I want to share with you a ‘Bad news, Good news’ story that happened not too many miles from where I live in Northern Illinois a few days ago.

A dairy barn caught fire at 4:00 in the morning and despite the efforts of several local fire departments and neighbors, it burned to the ground in a short time. The owners did get all of the 93 cows safely out of the barn before it burned, but a burned barn on a dairy farm is a real tragedy as it was it was in this case.

But then on the other side, there is that ‘good neighbor policy’ that exists in rural America. Not too far from where the barn burned was another farm where the barn and milking parlor were standing empty because the owner had recently decided to quit milking, sold all the cows and went into the calf-raising business.

You can probably finish the story from here. Where do you take cows to milk when you have lost all your facilities and cows have to be milked daily? Well, the dairy farmers who sold the dairy cows off their farm said “Load ‘em up, bring ‘em here.” The fire started at 4:00 AM and by Noon, thanks to the help of neighbors with trucks and the neighbor with the empty dairy barn, the 93 cows were all moved and in place, ready for the evening milking. Despite the different surroundings and equipment, it went very well.

Losing a barn on a dairy farm is more than the loss of property, it is an emotional tragedy. But thanks to the good help of the neighbors, this dairy farm family will survive, their cows survived and they will continue to produce milk for all of us.

Thank you for being such good neighbors and proving once again that people in rural communities truly care about their neighbors and are always ready to help.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.