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old barn and silo in a blizzard iStock/Getty Images Plus/PBouman

Enough of the winter that won’t end

Winter can’t last forever, can it?!

28 days is not very long. But it is getting to be very long. Though the shortest month on the calendar, the 2019 version of February is packing a lot of punch into this abridged gap between January and March.

I try to be an upbeat person, but c’mon already. Enough is enough. Uncle. I give up. Here in the Upper Midwest we are on pace for a record-breaking February for snowfall. I am running out of room to put snow. And, as I write this we are forecast to get another 10 inches of the white stuff over the next couple of days.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas?! It’s beginning to look a lot like people blowing gaskets over the winter that never ends!

But I digress. I realize that every snow cloud has a silver lining, and for me it’s that I do not have to work out in the snow. Other than making sure there is a path cleared so my wife can get out of the yard and to work, my snow-moving is fairly low-key. I do not have to make sure the snow is cleared so the feed truck can get up to the barns, or that the weaner trailer can deliver new pigs to their nice new home.

I’ll quit my whining now, but I’m whining on your behalf. I remember raising hogs in an Upper Midwest winter, before we had the environmentally controlled barns of today, moving drifts of snow just to get to the barns only to have to thaw out water pipes. These were the days when we mixed our own feed with the Arts-Way grinder-mixer.

All of our discomfort made sure that the pigs were in comfort with plenty of fresh water, fresh feed and deep piles of straw for bedding. We Care principles have been officially around for just over 10 years, but they have lived in producers' minds and practice for as long as pigs have been under our care.

Hog care is No. 1, regardless of the weather outside, but adding a layer of snow and ice to the tasks at hand can make everything much more difficult and challenging. I’m sure that I am not the only one looking forward to ditching the snowblower and tractor and bucket for the lawnmower and leaf blower.

Winter can’t last forever, can it?! Major league baseball teams have reported for spring training, and soon enough the bats will be swinging for the boys of summer. As we are sweating as we go to and fro the barns this summer, this horrible February will only be a distant memory. Just remind me of these snow-packed 28 days if I start to complain “it’s too hot!”

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