Cattle farmer takes extra measures to protect his livelihood ahead of Hurricane Florence
SUMTER, S.C. —
As people take steps to protect their families and property, some face a tougher battle with Mother Nature, especially when their business is out in the open. Florence could make it hard for local farmers. Local farmer Chris Sumpter says this past week has been busy. He's been doing everything he can to protect his livelihood ahead of the storm.
While people prepare for Hurricane Florence, Sumpter his thinking about his livestock. He's a fourth generation cattle farmer in Sumter County.
"These cows are gonna have a calf crop and we're dependent on that," said Sumpter. "We don't want injured or deceased animals and things that we're doing is going to prevent that."
Five days ago, Sumpter herded his cattle to a pasture on higher ground. It's also the highest elevation point in the entire county of Sumter. He says most people would say animals kept in a shelter stand a better chance for survival, but that's the worst thing you could do for livestock. Recent hurricanes have also prepared Sumpter for the worst.
"We've baled up a substantial amount of hay, so if the ground gets torn up, and there's not adequate forage then we have several bales of hay we can feed," said Sumpter.
"God forbid if we were to have some major fence damages, we have ID tags on the ears so we can identify them. I just pray to the good Lord that nothing happens."
Sumpter also says his well system that pumps water requires electricity. But if the power goes out, he has tanks in place to make sure his cattle have enough water to drink. From here, it's about waiting and hoping for the best.
"They've been on this farm for all their lives and I wish for them to die in peace on this farm, not in a big catastrophe," said Sumpter.