BELTON, TX — The extreme cold weather and low temperatures have forced schools across Central Texas to shut down and some jobs to delay their start or close completely. However, for one profession, snow days don’t exist.
It’s all James Ash, the owner of Ash Acres Dairy Farm, knows how to do.
”We’ve had a dairy here for 57 years...it started the year I was born,” Ash said. “We’ve had it for all this time.”
His father was the one to start the business. He’s since taken over, but he is unfamiliar with some things.
“What they’re telling us about what’s coming later on today and the next few days and the temperatures that we’re facing, we’ve never seen, in my lifetime I’ve never seen it that cold,” he admitted.
The farmer said over the past few days he’s spent over $3,000 on things like extra hay, propane to keep heaters running for over 100 cows and new hoses in case the old ones freeze.
“It’s kind of hard in these times when you have a lot of extra expenses to keep everything going,” he explained. “Then your customers don’t feel like getting out in the bad weather, so you don’t have a sale for your milk. It all adds up pretty fast; hopefully we’ll survive it.”
He makes his living by selling his product directly to the public, but with the harsh weather conditions and officials urging those who don’t need to travel to stay home, he said the demand for milk this week is low.
Production doesn't stop, either. He said the farm produces about 100 gallons of milk per day and even in the low temperatures, the cows still need to be milked. So, keeping them safe is his top priority.
“Just be sure and protect your animals,” he said. “That's the thing that, you know, once you can replace equipment or whatever, but the animal dies, you know, that's it.”
The family farm is located in Belton and according to their Facebook page, it’s open every day of the week.