Farmer finds pasture empty, sees all 32 dead cows in one big pile

Jared Blackwelder, a Springfield, Missouri farmer, was shocked to find his 32 cows dead in a pile in the pasture, a tragic scene he initially couldn’t fathom. The likely culprit? Lightning. Stan Coday, president of the Wright County Missouri Farm Bureau, explained, “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.”

A veterinarian confirmed that lightning had indeed claimed the cows’ lives. It’s believed the cows huddled under a tree to escape heavy rain and thunder. Blackwelder, emotionally affected by the loss, said, “Dairy cattle are a little different because you mess with them twice a day. It knocks you hard.”

This tragedy also has financial implications. While Blackwelder had insurance, he’s uncertain if it will cover his over $60,000 loss. Coday noted, “Most producers don’t carry insurance. If you lose a cow you’ve lost everything.” Moreover, the cows can’t be used for meat due to the delay in discovery.

The incident highlights the vulnerability of Missouri farmers who lack dedicated cow barns, with weather conditions often beyond their control.