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Wed February 9, 2011
Snow Damages Farm Buildings, Some Animals Killed
Record breaking snowfall this winter has had a devastating affect on Connecticut farms. More than 300 farm buildings have collapsed or partially collapsed on about 100 farms. Winter can be tough on farms. Back in the blizzard of 1978 there was so much snow, dairy farmers had to dump their milk because trucks couldn’t get through to pick it up. This winter, the roads have been cleared, but heavy snow is damaging buildings. Steven Revicsky, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, says every kind of farm building has been affected. “Tobacco barns, dairy barns, greenhouses, hoop houses, equine facilities, equipment storage facilities. The devastation is quite remarkable. The structural damage is in the millions of dollars.” At Fairview Farm in Woodstock, workers were removing snow from the roof of a barn that held about 200 cows when farmer Paul Miller checked on them “I heard some creaking noise underneath and hurried up and got the cows out, and like twenty seconds after I got the cows out, a section of the barn collapsed.” Nobody got hurt and the animals survived. But the building is not insured. On other farms in the state animals have died including about 30 cows, some calves, horses and sheep. The Department of Agriculture is looking into federal assistance for Connecticut farms that have been hurt by snow storms.