Paying it back 

We are currently providing emergency housing for 310 milking cows that had their barn severely damaged by a windstorm/possible tornado near Pennock, Minnesota, two days ago.  Caring for these Carlson Dairy cows is an honor for our family. 

Preparing for the arrival of these cows on Sunday was true teamwork here at Ocheda Dairy. For everybody else that helped, from our long-time faithful employees to my pregnant sister-in-law who showed up donning work gloves, they did the work necessary simply because it was the right thing to do.  For me, however, in my heart, it was so much about “paying it back”.  After experiencing the overwhelming outpouring of support following Ava’s accident two years ago, I wanted the Carlson family and all those involved within their farm to be surrounded with that same love and care.  To be able to help out a family in need is a huge sign of God’s perfect timing and presence. 

Here’s some photos from the afternoon and evening. 

My son, Vince, and father-in-law, Dave, scrubbing out water troughs because we knew the cows would be thirsty for a clean drink of water upon arrival.


My husband taught our long-term employee all about fencing cows and welding gating this past winter, so Ever was called to come and help.


As part of the construction project from the past year, we have a portable welder on a pallet and, without knowing that these new cows would be as calm as they have been, we wanted to be sure our milking parlor return alleys were secure. So, here, Joe is prepping to go weld in a bit more fencing.


If you know Ocheda Dairy, you know Bryan, who knows the ins and outs of cow care (as well as employee care), better than anyone.


Joe, with our brother-in-law, who is a vet (super-handy to have one of those in the family that lives just a mile away!)


After the 11th, and final, truck of the evening was unloaded, our mechanic and feed center manager, Corey, signs some papers. He had been working with each trucker as they arrived to get trailers backed up to the chute correctly.


My mother-in-law was caring for these 5 cousins and there was never a moment dull enough to merit changing out of church clothes!


The teamwork that was displayed on our farm is just a drop in the bucket when one considers the enormous amount of volunteers that stepped forward to help at Carlson Dairy. To hear reports of hundreds of working hands, donated casseroles, and faithful prayers lifted, well –that is what makes farming in Minnesota the treasure that it is.   I spent a lot of time in contact with members and closest friends of the Carlson family yesterday as we sorted out the details on how to best care for these cows.  They have been articulate, compassionate and grateful, and I am certain that one day, if given the opportunity, they would certainly step forward to “pay it back”, too. 

 Thanks again for all your support, now and in the past.  

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6 thoughts on “Paying it back 

  1. Beautiful story Love the children in their lovely Sunday clothes welcoming the cows (including Violet, the Flamenco dancer.) God Bless all of you.

  2. When I heard the news that folks as far away as Worthington were helping out on Sunday, I knew it must be you! Thank you for being God’s hands and feet that day..and more!

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