Deadly lightning strike kills 32 cows, leaving bodies 'piled on top of each other'

Missouri farmer Jared Blackwelder and his wife, Misty, are devastated after a single strike of lightning killed 32 of their dairy cows during a severe storm on April 29.

The Springfield resident says he had just returned indoors from feeding his cows when he heard a loud crash on Saturday morning.

Blackwelder didn't pay much mind to the noise, until later on when he returned for the cows' evening milking only to find 32 of them lifelessly piled on top of each other, strewn about on the mulch.

The cows that perished in the incident were all certified organic, which means they can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500 each.

Blackwelder said he has insurance but he's not sure if it will cover his total monetary loss, which could total over $60,000.

Although Blackwelder has around 120 cows remaining at his farm, he says the incident was still emotionally painful.

"It's not like they are pets. But the ones I'm milking, I've raised every one of them," Blackwelder told the Springfield News-Leader. "Dairy cattle are a little different because you mess with them twice a day. It knocks you hard."

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