HOBART - For the first time since 1888, the cows were not milked inside the dairy barn at the Post farm last Wednesday. They were moved to a neighboring farm, as their barn was one of the few local casualties of Superstorm Sandy which left downstate areas devastated.
The damage from the storm has led to the upcoming sale of most of the farm’s herd.
The Post Farm, known as Pineyvale Farm, on Township Road in the town of Stamford, was hit by high winds during Superstorm Sandy last Monday into Tuesday. During the height of the storm, sustained winds were estimated at 40 mph, with frequent gusts of 50-60 mph and some occasional gusts of up to 70 mph.
Dave and Carolyn Post lost portions of the top two floors of their family dairy barn when high winds ripped through and tore the roof from the barn.
“I got fuel for the equipment, extra water and we were prepared. I expected the roof to come loose, not explode,” said Dave Post. “We screwed it down and did repairs on it last summer so it was in good shape.”
Fortunately, none of the 130 head of registered Holstein dairy cattle were injured when the top floors blew away.
“We lost 1,200-1,500 bales of hay, but the tractor (which was in the barn) came out unscathed,” said Post. “When the power went out in the house, we knew we had trouble.”
In the wake of the destruction, community members turned out to lend a hand. The line of pickup trucks and cars stretched well down the road from the 400-acre farm last Wednesday.
“The farm, church and school communities showed up to help out. It was amazing. All our kids (many related and many not) were here too.”
Post said they will most likely tear down the damaged “Century Barn,” keeping the “new” 40 year-old addition, making a site for something new. What that something new will be is still up in the air.
In the meantime, the herd is safe and sound at the Hosking’s Farm, eight miles down the road. “They are comfortable and milking well,” said Post. “It is a beautiful, warm environment for them there.”
Don and Joanne Hosking recently held a cattle sale and had space in their barn.
Area farmers showed up last Wednesday to help move the herd the eight miles.
“It took a couple of hours and a baker’s dozen of trailers, but we got them moved. The herd traveled well, not an injury to cow or person.”
When asked what they planned for the future, Post mentioned an upcoming cattle sale.
“Good and bad, I would prefer to sell. I can’t get the barn back and I am not going to subject the animals or people to an unsafe situation,” he said.
A cattle sale has been scheduled for Dec. 8 at Hosking’s Farm through The Cattle Exchange, with Dave and Merry Rama. “We plan to sell about 115 head, keeping 10-15 for ourselves. I can’t get out completely.” Post said. “This has been sad.”