Lightning Strikes Missouri Dairy Farm, Tragically Claiming Lives of 32 Cows

The recent severe weather in Missouri caused chaos and devastation across the region. For one farmer, Jared Blackwelder from Springfield, the consequences were truly heartbreaking.

On a typical Saturday morning, Jared and his wife Misty went about their usual routine of feeding their dairy cows. Little did they know, a storm was brewing in the distance. Ignoring the rumble of thunder and flashes of lightning, they continued with their daily tasks.

Later in the day, as Jared ventured back into the pasture to gather the cows for the evening milking, he was faced with a sight that no farmer should ever have to witness—the lifeless bodies of all 32 cows piled on top of each other.

“It’s a common occurrence. It does happen. The thing that made this the worst was just the sheer number of cows that were affected,” shared Stan Coday, president of the Wright County Missouri Farm Bureau.

A local veterinarian confirmed that the cause of death was indeed lightning. It is believed that the cows sought refuge together behind a group of trees during the storm, unaware of the impending disaster.

“This was nothing that he had any control over,” empathized Coday, reflecting on the cruel hand that Mother Nature had dealt. He remembered losing a cow to lightning himself a few years earlier, understanding the profound impact it can have on a farmer.

While the loss of the cows is devastating on an emotional level, it is also a significant blow financially. Jared estimated the value of each certified organic cow to be between $2,000 and $2,500. With a total of 32 cows lost, the financial loss amounted to nearly $60,000. Insurance may be in place, but the uncertainty surrounding coverage adds to the distress.

“Most producers don’t carry insurance. If you lose a cow, you’ve lost everything,” explained Coday, shedding light on the risky nature of farming.

Additionally, local neighbors who inquired about the meat from the deceased cows were informed that it was unfit for human consumption. Coday emphasized that the animals had been exposed to the elements for several hours, rendering them unsuitable for processing.

Despite the magnitude of the tragedy, it is important to remember that this was an unforeseen natural event—one that no farmer can control or prevent. The impact of such an incident reverberates not only emotionally, but also financially, leaving a profound mark on the affected farm and its owners.

It serves as a reminder to cherish the animals in our care and appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into farming. Mother Nature may be powerful, but the resilience and spirit of farmers like Jared Blackwelder will always endure.

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