A farmer was distraught to find 32 of his cows lying dead on top of each other after a lightning strike.
Missouri dairy farmer Jared Blackwelder recalls waking up early to milk his cows at 4 a.m. Later, when he was, heading back home, he saw lightning strike his farm near Carbool in Texas County, USA Today reports.
“It was so bright I couldn’t hardly see,” he said. “It just brought fire down the fences.”
When Blackwelder returned to check on his cows later, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“I went down over the hill and seen them laying there,” Blackwelder recalls. “They were just piled on top of each other. They were huddled up, trying to get out of rain. It’s not like they are pets. But the ones I’m milking, I’ve raised every one of them. Dairy cattle are a little different because you mess with them twice a day. It knocks you hard.”
Blackwelder says he is not sure how much his insurance will cover for the livestock deaths. He may lose $60,000 from the deaths of the certified organic cows, whose milk was sold through the Organic Valley Coop and available to buy at area stores.
Photos of the cows and news of the man’s loss astounded and saddened many worldwide.
“Sending prayers from over the pond in Scotland,” one wrote on Wright County Missouri Farm Bureau’s Facebook post about the deaths. “Regardless of what the cattle were used for, they are not only someone’s livelihood, they were living beings. I truly hope you recover from this.”
“For any farmer to lose even one head out of his herd, makes for a pretty big loss,” empathized another. “If your cows are what pays your bills and feeds your family and is the only job you have. You people do the math here, it’s not a joking matter. So sorry that this has happened to your family.”
“So many people don’t understand a farmer’s life,” chimed in a third. “Most rise before the sun rises and go to bed late in the night. I was raised on a farm and loved it. Everyday was a different challenge it seemed. Farming has to be in you’re DNA, it’s a good life. And I have always said farming is a real gamble, you never know what hand you will be dealt. My heart goes out to this family. Stay strong and God bless.”
Sources: USA Today, Wright County Missouri Farm Bureau/Facebook / Photo credit: Visual Hunt, USA Today