Area farmers going above and beyond to care for livestock

SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — A local farming family is going above and beyond to keep their cattle warm.

Jason Woodward Farmer, said, “I’ll do anything I can possibly do to take care of my livestock and I’ve had to go the extra mile.”

With the recent snow storm, it has made it harder to keep their livestock alive.

“It’s been a major stress. There have been some sleepless nights. I despise this weather. I calve this time of year generally you can expect a few cool nights, but this is extreme.”

If a calf doesn’t get warm, it can die in about an hour due to the cold temperatures. The family has had to improvise.

Lee Woodward, Farmer, said, “We don’t really have a heated barn to put them in so what we do is we bring them in the house and we have like a little heater here. This is just the back room of our home, we threw down some rugs and some cardboard and a rubber matt and we bring them in here and then our daughter Lyla and I usually rub them down while they’re are taking care of the mamas.”

Keeping them in the house has made life easier to keep the babies alive.

“I would say we kinda lost track of how many calves we have taken care of in here. A lot of them. I bet we have at least seventeen come through this little area before we can get them back to mama. And all the calves we’ve brought in here have made it, I think out of of the 18 calves that we’ve had we’ve only lost one.”

Once they are warm and fed enough colostrum milk, they still have one more obstacle to get through.

“My main goal is to get them warmed up as quick as possible and get them back to mom so that they don’t forget about that bond. And that mom will go ahead and take that calf back,” said Jason.

The Woodwards will continue to keep them warm once the snow thaws.

“I think that people underestimate how much farmers really care for their livestock they’ll anything to keep them alive and put the work in it and they just do what needs to be done,” said Lee.