How is your decision-making ability?
Henk de Vor’s ability to make a quick assessment and take decisive action was put to the full test on June 22 and 23, 2015, after a tornado ripped apart his dairy and scattered remnants over a 7-mile area. Quick and thoughtful action on his part, and by many concerned individuals, helped revive the farm.
Getting the word out
Unbeknownst to Henk, his son Jeroen made a simple post on Facebook before midnight, just 90 minutes after the tornado struck. It read, “We need help!” He went on to explain that the family’s dairy farm had just been struck by a tornado. He asked for area livestock truckers and others in the area to come help move cattle. The need was urgent.
The convergence of that Facebook post and a phone call by Henk de Vor to Chad Kreeger from United Producers, a cattle sales company, led to a 1-mile lineup of truckers by 1 a.m. As that situation was unfolding, Henk also had placed calls to nearby excavators who brought six bulldozers onto the scene, which cleared a path to load out cows. This was all being done in the dark because the power was out.
With the cow-loading cavalry now on-site, the quickly assembled team loaded out 2,000 cows before daybreak. To put that in perspective, the team loaded roughly 400 cows per hour from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. with minimal light, very few gates, and no building infrastructure to guide animals.
The one-minute video with this Hoard’s Dairyman Intel gives some insight into the devastation and the obstacles those working to help the Decker, Mich., dairy faced that evening.To read the full story about the de Vor dairy, turn to pages 634 and 635 in the October 25, 2017, issue and read, “Utter Destruction.” If you are not currently a subscriber, order Hoard’s Dairyman and we will also mail you a copy of the article.