Barns crash down on hundreds of cattle - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Barns crash down on hundreds of cattle

HAYFIELD, Minn. (KTTC) --  A farmer is feeling the devastating impact of Mother Nature's fury. In Hayfield, barns come crashing down on top of hundreds of cattle.

Despite the devastation Hayfield farmer Gene Leckness can still find a way to laugh.

"We're supposed to be planting corn not moving snow," Leckness said.

At 6 a.m. Thursday Gene had two large barns standing. Sometime before 10:00 a.m. they collapsed killing one cow and trapping at least a dozen more and injuring others.

"Is this a bad deal? Yes. It's a terrible deal," Leckness said. "It could have been worse. It's all replaceable. It's all replaceable. Nobody got hurt."

Even though these two barns are destroyed the west wall stayed standing. Gene said he's thankful for that because that's what's keeping these roughly 300 cattle corralled for the time being.

As he looks at what's left he's grateful for the cows that survived but he's still feeling the loss.

"Definitely they're special. They got their own attitudes and disposition," Leckness said. "I love my cattle. I love to work them. Everyday we're out here feeding them and fussing with them but they're not people. They're animals. That's the difference."

Farmers prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Now he's looking at the bright side, literally at the bright snow that covers his farm in May and figuratively.

"My wife says there's always a reason for something," Leckness said. "I don't know. Maybe it was time to rebuild. I don't know. At the end of the day the man upstairs runs it."

Knowing he isn't in control he reminds himself that the only that's certain is that farming is uncertain.

As for the cattle that were injured, one was hurt badly, others suffered cuts and scratches.
Leckness explains that cattle are very sensitive to stress and it's just too early to tell how much the stress is going to affect them.

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