A devastating fire broke out on Monday night at South Fork Dairy Farm in Dimmitt, Texas. The fire claimed the lives of more than 18,000 cows and left one farm worker in critical condition.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the statement provided by the Texas Association of Dairymen on behalf of the dairy industry. The incident is the deadliest fire involving cows in nearly a decade, as the Animal Welfare Institute reported. The farm had been authorized to double the number of cattle on-site and increase manure production by more than 50%, according to the permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Castro County, where the farm is located, is the second-highest milk-producing county in Texas, with more than 59,361 cows. The county produced more than 147 million pounds of milk in February, as the United States Department of Agriculture reported. The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller expressed his condolences and called for the investigation’s findings to be made public once finished. He stressed that there are lessons to be learned from this tragedy and that the public must be informed to prevent such incidents in the future.
The loss of life and property resulting from the South Fork Dairy Farm fire is a tragedy that has deeply affected the dairy industry and the local community. The incident highlights the importance of maintaining strict safety measures and environmental standards in agricultural operations to prevent future tragedies. The investigation findings must be made public to prevent such incidents and ensure the safety and well-being of workers and livestock.