Many leap to keep Rosendale Dairy running after massive blaze

Firefighters work to put out a fire at Rosendale Dairy last week.

Thirteen-thousand bales of stacked straw, feed and equipment stored in a commodities shed at Rosendale Dairy was lost in a fire last week Tuesday afternoon.

Yet, the largest dairy in the state didn’t miss a beat.

The cows were being fed hours after the fire broke out, even while firefighters were still on scene.

Considering how large the fire was, it could have been much worse.

“The feed that was in the commodity shed was just a small portion of the mixture we give the cows,” MilkSource director of public affairs Bill Harke said.

MilkSource owns Rosendale Dairy, along with several other large dairies in the state.

“The corn silage and the hay silage were all out on the feed pad and that was untouched; that’s the majority of the feed,” Harke said. “The feed in the feed shed was like wet cake and permeate whey; some of the lactation mixes and ground corn and the like that in many cases we’ll buy from the co-op.”

“United Co-op is right down the road from us, so we knew we were going to lose that feed and were on the phone with United Co-op. They came through like champs in a heartbeat. They actually put together a plan that they would mix those ingredients and bring them to the dairy so that we can mix those with the corn silage and haylage.”

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