Dairy Farmers in Flood-Prone Counties Face ‘Big Inconvenience’ as Storms Approach

STANISLAUS COUNTY -- They’re literal cash cows for dairymen like Rogelio Herrera. His cattle are how he makes a living.

“We are extremely concerned not knowing exactly what the flood zone or flood planes are,” Herrera said.

The dairy farmer joined dozens of concerned farmers from Merced and Stanislaus Counties about the upcoming storms on Wednesday morning. Their pastures are in flood-prone areas and some may have to move their cattle to drier land.

“It would be a big, big inconvenience for us or for any dairyman to have to move those animals,” Herrera explained.

Anja Raudabaugh, the CEO of Western United Dairymen said so far at least two dairies are in the process of moving their cows.

“Yeah, they are on the river so they needed to move four days ago,” Raudabaugh told FOX40.

But it’s no easy feat, the animals are large and lactating.

“One of the challenges would be to find the dairy that can accommodate the animals that we need to move. So yeah, that’s a big challenge,” Herrera said.

Raudabaugh adds some farmers have stepped up and offered their land to help house any displaced cows. County officials are urging farmers to make proactive measures just in case they find themselves under water.

“You need to be alert, you need to be concerned because it’s warm outside that means the snow is melting, that means more water is coming,” said Annette Patton, the Executive Director of Stanislaus Animal Services.

As for Herrera, he said his animals should be OK for now. In the meantime, he hopes it will stay this way.

“We’re optimistic and we’re praying that nothing happens,” Herrera said.

Farmers have also volunteered to check for boils on the levees.