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Dairy farmers deal with frigid temps to keep animals comfortable at PA Farm Show

As the temperatures dropped to dangerous levels overnight Monday into Tuesday, it was business as usual at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

The dairy cows needed to be primed, prepped and groomed for their showing on Friday.

“The dairy cows, they’re used to it,” said Vienna Kostenbader of Lititz. Kostenbader was helping some friends with their cows. “They get used to the cold, every cow has enough body fat on it that they can just handle the cold.”

Their human handlers? Not so much. Despite a forecasted low of zero degrees overnight and a wind chill that made it feel even colder, many chose to stay with their cows in the exhibition hall. The hall is kept fairly cold to make sure the animals are comfortable.

“We got good sleeping bags and we’re just going to curl in them and that will be that,” said Dale Shupp of Shupp’s Farm in Elizabethtown.

Some are braving the cold overnight to stay on the right milking schedule, others to save money, still others because it’s all a part of the farm show experience.

“Some people sleep in campers, some people, they sleep on a cot,” said Kostenbader. “You gotta have a lot of sleeping bags. Some people have hand warmers and some people just put on more and more layers.”

Many farmers stay with their dairy cows because the cows can get uncomfortable if they get too warm.

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