After milking his cows, just as Texas County dairy farmer Jared Blackweld wanted to lock the gate, a lightning struck hard and close.
Later in the day, he returned to the field and found 32 of his certified organic cows dead.
A veterinarian confirmed the cows had been struck by lightning. Blackwelder suspects it was that same lightning strike that sent fire along his fences as he explains:
“I went down over the hill and seen them laying there. 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.”
Wright County Missouri Farm Bureau shared photos of the dead cows on Facebook Saturday evening. As of Monday, that post has been shared more than 14,000 times, with more than 1,000 comments from strangers.