Local farmers fight through sub-zero temperatures




Posted on February 6, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 6 at 12:40 PM

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -- Sub-freezing temperatures in the Inland Northwest have been a major factor in the daily operation of one local farm.

When the Warner’s woke up Wednesday morning to start their chores at Spokane’s Family Farm, the farm thermometer read minus five degrees, not including wind chill.
“I think it's harder on the humans than the cows,” said Trish Warner.

When temperatures drop below zero, daily operations get a little more complicated.  Water troughs turn to ice and tractors often will not start.

“We have to start our day checking what's frozen,” said Tim Warner, the manager at the farm.
But the Warner's number one concern is always for their cows.  Young calves can get frostbite if their ears are not kept dry.

The calves get milk from a bottle twice a day and when it is bitterly cold outside, the workers take extra time to heat the bottles first.

“We want the babies to have something warm in their stomach,” said Trish.

The workers also have to limit their exposure to the extreme temperatures.

“When you're outside with the wind chill you get about 15 to 20 minutes outside and then you got to get into the cover,” said Tim.

Each day, Spokane’s Family Farm prepares 400 gallons of milk to ship out to its customers. The milk is then delivered to local grocery stores like clockwork, no matter what the weather may bring.