Walker tours 2 snow-damaged farms in Northeast Wisconsin

Blizzard Evelyn leaves behind a hole in a portion of the roof for cows at Birlings Bovines farm in Cicero Wednesday, April 25, 2018. (WLUK image)

CICERO, Wis. (WLUK) -- As snow piles still linger on Birlings Bovines dairy farm in Cicero, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker looks at a gaping hole in the roof of a barn.

"The damage we saw here, you're thinking between this and some of the other structures, realistically, probably somewhere over $500,000 just for the structure. That doesn't even account for all the other issues," Walker said.

Blizzard Evelyn's heavy snow left its mark on the farm. It shared video of firefighters using water to wash off the compacted snow.

One of the owners told FOX 11 that in the 60 years he's worked on the farm, he's never seen a storm or damage like Evelyn.

"I remember back being small where we seemed to have lots of snow but it was spread out over a period of time." said farm owner Mike Birling. "Monday morning, we just started inspecting these barns. There were just a few cracked/curlings in this area so we moved all the animals out of this area. One section came down the next night and and then the next day the other section came down."


All animals are accounted for, but Birling says there could be more challenges in the future.

"They were stressed a lot so there could be long-term problems, abortions or lost production later on," Birling said.

Walker says damage from a snowstorm is unique and asks farmers to keep track of their blizzard-related cost.

"And hand that on to the local farm service agent at the local level because we'll collect that out through the state and then depending on the totals received, we could eventually make a request to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for assistance in that regard whether it's low-interest loans or other assistance," Walker said.

Birlings Bovines farm is working with its insurance company.

Walker also visited Sievert Farms in Little Suamico on Wednesday.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection secretary toured farms damaged by the storm.

As FOX 11 previously reported, the secretary toured farms in a 10-county area hit hard by Blizzard Evelyn.

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