On Saturday morning, in Springfield, Missouri farmer Jared Blackwelder and his spouse Misty were tending to their dairy cows.
The joyful pair was unaware that this would be their final encounter with the herd alive.
Although there had been some flooding recently due to heavy spring rains, it appeared like the worst was gone. When Jared and Misty heard some distant rumbling, they were unconcerned.
Until their evening milking, they let the tiny herd to graze in peace in the pasture. When they returned a few hours later, the Blackwelders were inconsolable.
Following a stroll across the deserted field, Blackwelder discovered all 32 dairy cows dead, lying just beyond the edge of the trees. Lightning had hit the entire herd.
On their Facebook page, the Wright County Missouri Farm Bureau asked people to pray for the Blackwelders while sharing pictures of the dairy cows. “It’s a regular occurrence,” MFB President Stan Cody said to CBS News. It does occur. The sheer quantity of animals impacted was what made this situation the worst. Cody has also lost a cow to lightning; he is a beef cattle farmer. He answered, “You’re at the mercy of Mother Nature.”
A local veterinarian examined the cows and determined that lightning was the cause of death. The veterinarian had never witnessed a lightning strike that killed more than six cows before. He thinks the herd gathered behind the trees to gain protection from the storm.
Jared was utterly devastated. They are not like pets at all. However, I’ve reared every one of the ones I’m milking,” he stated in a Springfield News-Leader interview. Because you handle dairy cattle twice a day, they are a little different. It gives you a strong knock.
The value of each dairy cow ranged from $2,000 to $2,500. More than $60,000 is the projected total loss, according to the Blackwelders. Although they have insurance, the farmers don’t think it will be sufficient to pay such a staggering loss.
Cody attested to the fact that the animals’ flesh could not be saved. “Those animals are damaged, and when he found them, they had been there for a few hours,” he remarked. An animal must go through a certain procedure to be processed. They wouldn’t have been suitable for ingestion by humans.
The MFB has received communication from local Farm Service Agency representatives. A dairy farm may fail if its herd is lost, but the FSA offers a Livestock Indemnity Program to assist farmers in recovering from natural disasters like lightning, flooding, or blizzards.
Outsiders who were not part of the agricultural community accused the Blackwelder of not offering sufficient shelter. Cody swiftly defended them, pointing out that the majority of Missouri farmers do not keep their dairy or meat cows in a separate structure. According to Cody, “he had no control over this.”