Heavy snow meant a lot of extra work on the farm, much of it involving the milk cows.
On spring, summer, and fall evenings, a milk cow came into the barn to a stanchion (usually the same one each day), received some ground grain in the box in front of her, got milked, and went back out to the pasture. When heavy snow or serious cold came, my father kept the cows in all night. Since we had more milk cows than stanchions even when my parents were milking by hand, we had to drive the first ones milked out of the barn and into the shed attached to it. The barn wasn’t heated, but the heat from the cows’ bodies usually kept the temperature above freezing.
In the winter the cows received extra feed. One of my jobs was putting the proper measurement of grain in their feed boxes and supplementing it with hay. In the summer we spent weeks putting up hay in giant stacks in the field or in the barn’s hayloft for the cows to eat from in the winter. Fresh hay has a wonderful aroma, but after months in the loft it becomes dusty and musty. Even so, it was fun to jump from the loft into the piles we threw down.
During the day my father would use a pitchfork to load hay from a stack onto a wagon, pull it with horses or the tractor to the field or shed where the cows were sheltering, and unload it.
Because the cows stayed in the barn overnight, he also spent extra time shoveling manure into a wheelbarrow and trundling it to the manure pile. You didn’t smell it much in winter because it froze. In the spring he would spread the manure on the fields. It’s great fertilizer.
Some people assumed farmers had it easy in the winter, but the snow and cold pushed anyone with dairy cows to work the usual sunrise to sunset.