I was compelled to write about the recent floods in the Northwest and the devastation of many lives.
The Brunoff dairy specialized in organic cows. As I approached the farm, I spotted a mural on a barn that resembled "happy California cows," but it wasn't the case. Instead the pasture and barn were empty. A milk hand greeted me and told me about the day of the flood. A surge of water came like a tidal wave. They were only able to save 12 cows. When the water reached their chest, they headed to the two-story house. It became ground zero. There was no escape for 250 cows. They heard the mooing until there was no more.
The Kesting family has a similar story. While they were waiting to be rescued from their rooftop, they witnessed helplessly 100 baby calves gasping for their last breath of air.
I was born and raised in Newman. I know the love of farming and hard work. I have a compassion for these people. If you have been moved by these stories, please send donations of cattle hay or funding to Washington Dairy Federation, 360-482-3485.
VIRGINIA BERTAO FLOREK