Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How Dairy Farmers get dressed for Winter?

Well, we enjoyed weather today in the 10's above zero and that was a HUGE blessing.  For the past 2 days it's been below zero for most if not all of the day.  Yesterday's high was -2!  We work hard to care for our cows and calves in these temps.  Extra bedding is needed to make sure the animals can nest (tuck themselves in for the night).  While working for our cows, we do need to care for ourselves.  While I was waddling through the yard yesterday, I thought I would share the mountain of clothes that I wear each day to stay warm.

When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with cold urticaria.  Basically, I am allergic to the cold, snow, ice, frigid air, and most of all cold damp air.  My body reacts to cold by producing hives...painful and itchy hives.  I share this allergy with my father, so we often help each other find ways to stay warm.  Even though I am allergic to the cold...I love living in Minnesota, so instead of moving I found ways to cope.  As you can see in my picture...I allow very little of my skin to actually come in contact with the cold air.  Once the temps are above 10 I can handle more exposure, but I still need to be careful.  So, order to stay warm and cozy while I work 10-14 hours a day outside I wear LOTS of layers!  So let's start at the top...

I usually wear a headband for my ears (they're very sensitive to the cold!).  In the negative temps I sport the insulated face mask.  I always wear at least 1 t-shirt and 1 long sleeved t-shirt, with a fleece hoodie on top.  I added another long sleeved t-shirt yesterday to insure that I stayed warm.  I wear a pair of athletic shorts, athletic pants, and a pair of jeans...all underneath a pair of insulated overall bibs.  On top of that I wear an insulated coat.  My feet enjoy 2 pairs of extra thick socks inside my insulated boots.  I swear I wear almost 50 pounds of clothing and gear, but all of it is needed so I can stay outside comfortably, working for our animals.  Sounds crazy I know, but I wouldn't trade anything, I enjoy being with my cows everyday...even in the Minnesota Tundra!


  1. Interesting Blog on your clothing. If you see anything about farmers on TV or the movies they never portray the real thing including the clothing. My husband writes children's books about farming in 1950 that portray real farming and farmers. As one 100-year-old former farmer said as she bought a book - "This is the real thing." We will be at the Tracy Public Library on Saturday at 1:00 PM, 12-18-10 and Gordy will be performing his book A Farm Country Christmas Eve. I realize it might be a bit far but if you get a chance stop over. Keep up the great Blogs. Nancy Fredrickson

  2. Nancy: I wish I could have made it! Thanks for reading my post! I thought it would be interesting to some....all the darn clothes I have to wear just to care for our cows =)

  3. Have you tried Bogs? I love them they are almost too warm for my feet and Im in Ontario

  4. I do have a pair of Bogs! I love them, until my feet sweat, then they get a little chilled.


I write this blog to share my passion for my cows and farming, please be respectful of that. I reserve the right to delete those comments which portray hate, call names, and are out right disrespectful. If you have an honest question, I will respond, to explain what we do on our farm, why we do it and how we do it. Please read with an open mind. My time to blog is short, as most of our days are spent caring for our beloved cows. Thank you!