Barn fire reaction shows community strength
There are few things more traumatic for a farmer than a barn fire. The family of Ryan and Cheri Klussendorf witnessed this first hand on Sunday when the barn burned at their family farm in the town of Goodrich. Fortunately, there were no injuries and they were able to get the livestock from the building and out of harm’s way.
The barn is a central feature on any dairy farm. It is the place where feed and animals are kept and is the central spot around which the business of farming takes place.
It would not be much of a stretch to say that a barn is the heart of a farm, but it would not be entirely correct.
A barn is just a building, an important building, but nonetheless just wood, stone and metal. It is something that can be torn down and rebuilt again and again. The true heart of the farm beats within the chests of the farmers who devote their lives to their chosen vocation.
You can take a farmer away from the farm, but you never stop them from being a farmer. Farmers see the world in the cycles of seasons and the work that goes with each. They know the lean times and the times of plenty having experienced every combination. The heart of farming beats strongly in the chests of the Klussendorf family.
“We’re trying to be positive. That’s something we decided last night as a family. We are going to come out stronger in the end,” said Cheri Klussendorf.
The heart of farming also beats strongly in the community and how swiftly people react to help a neighbor in need. While more than 50 firefighters from three different area departments worked to contain the blaze and protect the other farm buildings, neighbors and friends within the farming community began to arrive with trucks, trailers, food and comforting embraces. More than 20 trailers came to help haul the cows to a nearby farm and crews worked to get them loaded and safely settled into their temporary home.
“I watched some of the greatest neighbors, friends, and people I never knew existed show up today to rescue our family from the hell we experienced,” Cheri Klussendorf posted to social media hours after the blaze.
When steel is forged it is treated with heat and pressure. Scientists who study such things explain this aligns the molecules to increase the metal’s strength and durability.
The dairy industry in Wisconsin has endured its own heat and pressure over recent years. The swift reaction and strong support shown after last weekend’s barn fire shows that far from being broken, the agricultural community remains strong and the heart of faming beats on.