Keeping critters fed, watered and out of the wind is a challenge to cattlemen during this snowstorm -- unless you're Don Koster.
The farmer and rancher near Minneapolis was enjoying balmy conditions in south Texas while his hired man, Tomas Ramos, handled chores back home.
"He got 'em fed this morning. I've got no problems whatsoever," Koster said Thursday morning from Mission, Texas, about 10 miles north of the Mexican border. The temperature in Texas was hovering between 70 and 75 degrees at mid-morning while it was in the teens in Salina.
"It's shirt-sleeve weather down here. I go dancing every night. It's fun," Koster boasted.
Ramos handled the winter extremes last year and he's doing the same this season.
"We don't start calving until March. They'll survive," Koster said. "We've been through storms like this before."
Others didn't have it so easy as heavy snow hampered feeding operations and the births of calves. From 7 inches to nearly a foot of snow had been reported before noon in north-central and northwest Kansas.
"It's up to the second buckle on my overshoes," lamented Jerry McReynolds in eastern Rooks County.
Northeast winds at 15 mph were kicking up drifts "from knee high to 3 foot," he said.
McReynolds was using a front-end loader to clear a path to his pastures on county roads so his cattle could be delivered bales of prairie grass. But the wind was blowing the paths shut.
"It's a nice snow," McReynolds said. "It would be better if we weren't in the cattle business."
Water can be a problem, too, but his pastures are served by either a well or a rural water line.
"I'm not having to haul (water). That would be terrible," he said.
The key to feeding critters, or calving, is being prepared.
"You've just got to try to be ahead of the game, have your hay where you can get to it," said Vaughn Isaacson, who farms and ranches in southern Saline County.
McReynolds moved his cows into "calving pastures" closer to home, and the young moms and babies are moved into a barn during storms.
"For the rest of them, you have them in as protected of an area as you can," he said. "We get the cows and calves fed, and then the feeder cattle."