“It’s part of the nature I’m in;” farmers braving severe conditions to care for livestock

Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 6:20 PM CST
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WICHITA COUNTY, Texas (TNN) - It’s been quite a week for Kenneth McAlister.

“We’ve had to result to a lot of different things when we get this kind of weather,” he said.

Every day this week, McAlister has sat in his tractor, breaking up the ice so his cows have water, and getting his entire herd fed.

“I’ve fed more hay in the last week than I have in the last year and a half,” he explained.

Kenneth said he’s lost more than just hay this week, though; he’s also lost calves; nine of them to be exact.

“You can’t be on them 24/7 so sometime in the middle of the night they froze to death,” he said, “we had one place where we lost three in our night where all three were born.”

Through the hardships, when asked why he keeps going, he said, “it’s part of the nature I’m in. You know why do I keep trying to grow wheat? Because I love it.”

“Farmers and ranchers, their livelihood is taking care of this livestock,” David Graf, the Wichita County extension agent for Texas A&M Agrilife, said.

As the snow begins to thaw, Graf said he hopes this week has been a reminder for everyone.

“I’m not sure that people are aware of the effort that our farmers and ranchers go into just to help take care of cattle and make sure that you and i have something to eat,” he said.

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