Missouri dairy farmer Jared Blackwelder woke up one morning as usual and went outside to check on his cows. They were all dairy cows, and provided him with milk that he would sell to the Organic Valley Coop and local stores. This particular morning, he saw a sad sight. All 32 of his cows were dead in the pasture, piled one on top of the other.
Blackwelder did notice a lightning storm the night before. He assumes the cows huddled together to keep warm after the storm and were struck by a massive bolt.
“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.”