Feb. 18 2021 11:40 AM

Hold on, because 2020 has turned 21, and it may be a little tipsy.

Whoever said 2020 was the worst year ever or maybe even said it can’t get any worse, please refrain from speaking about the subject anymore. Honestly, I feel as if the weather of 2021 is having a fight with the pandemic that started in 2020 to see which one can outdo the other. So please, don’t say anything about how things can’t get worse . . . because obviously, they can.

Many prayers go out to Texas right now. They are a lot like Georgians. We do not handle extreme winter weather very well. You throw a snowflake or two around here and all the schools and government complexes will shut down before the flakes hit the ground.

I have written many blogs with the word “adaption” inserted here and there. Well, at the time, I didn’t mean on this kind of level, but here we are. With the pandemic, historical weather, life altering situations, and so forth, I feel as if that is all we have done – adapt to the “new normal.”

I am part of several animal agricultural groups on Facebook. In the last week or so, there have been so many people seeking information on how to adapt their farm to take on the freezing cold conditions that they are not use to. I have seen pictures of completely frozen milking parlors, baleage covered with snow, and water trough issues galore. Even though we are not experiencing all of these things in Georgia, I have actually learned a lot from following the groups and hearing about their problems with this weather, which is going to be very helpful if it ever happens to us.

The amount of support and people willing to share similar experiences from other parts of the country is amazing. So much information and so many ideas are being discussed to help the southerners. I mean, who knew that throwing a 2-liter bottle of water and softener salt into a water trough helps it to keep from freezing? That is just one answer I read that someone was doing. I am not sure how great it works, but it is very interesting.

The moral of the story is that adapting has been the new norm for the past year. Be willing to stay updated on issues across the country and around the world, because how it is being dealt with might come in handy for your farm one day. We have no clue what tomorrow might bring in these unprecedented times.

Caitlin and Mark Rodgers

Mark and Caitlin Rodgers are dairy farmers in Dearing, Georgia. The Rodgers have a 400-cow dairy that averages 32,000 pounds of milk. Follow their family farm on Facebook at Hillcrest Farms Inc.