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Dairy farm reeling after Ian causes death of 200 cows, facilities damage

Farm owner Jerry Dakin says he isn't 100% sure rebuilding is an option.

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  • | 4:19 p.m. October 3, 2022
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Dakin Dairy Farms of Myakka City suffered huge losses from Hurricane Ian, including the death of approximately 200 cows.

Courtney Dakin, a tour manager at Dakin Dairy Farms in east Manatee County, says many of the lost livestock were calves and the farm still is counting total losses. She says there are currently about 5,000 cows on the property, and about 3,000 of those have no water because of power outages. Many cows are sick with pneumonia due to prolonged exposure to weather conditions during the storm.

The farm also received severe damage to its facilities including its cattle barns and tour barn.

Despite the use of a bulldozer to create sediment barriers around the property prior to the hurricane, Dakin says the barriers had little effect in preventing the waters, which she says came from the overflowing Myakka and Peace rivers.

Dakin says many of the farm's animals were able to survive the storm, including all the farm's sheep, goats, a tour cow named Norman and three chicks. 

The farm currently is receiving help with its cleanup operations from friends, family and community members. "This is an amazing community that we have out here," she says. "We've already seen so much support."

Owner Jerry Dakin, meanwhile, a cousin of Courtney Dakin, calls the storm a disaster unlike anything he's witnessed in his life. "It's just the stress of the animals that hurts more than anything," he says.

Jerry Dakin says with current inflation levels, he's not sure rebuilding is an option right now.


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