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Dracut dairy farm finds new shelter for cows after snow brings down barn roof during storm

Cattle at Taplin Farm in Dracut. After a barn collapse at Shaw Farm killed six cows Tuesday, dozens of surviving cows are being rehomed at nearby farms, according to the owner, who declined to name the farms. Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

After a barn collapse at a Dracut dairy farm killed six cows Tuesday, dozens of surviving cows are being rehomed at nearby farms, according to the owner of the farm.

Shaw Farm, well known for its milk, dairy products, and home delivery in Merrimack Valley, announced Tuesday evening in a Facebook post that the farm’s store and ice cream stand would remain open despite the unexpected collapse of the barn’s roof from the nor’easter.

“If I even had a small reason something like this could happen, I would’ve gotten the herd out of there before,” Warren Shaw, owner of the farm, said in an interview with the Globe Wednesday.


Shaw said the 79 remaining cows that survived will be brought to three different farms that are within 20 miles of Shaw Farm.

Shaw said the farm’s bottling plant is unaffected by the building collapse.

“The cows will be [at other farms] for a while, so we’ll have to get milk from those cows and bring them back,” Shaw said.

He said the building, which housed 85 cows, collapsed after lunch. Shaw said it was a frantic afternoon of figuring out what to do, but many people showed up after the collapse to help retrieve the surviving cows and barn equipment.

“The thing about a disaster like this is that you find out how many friends you have,” Shaw said. “People just showed up, so there lots of people who are helping with that.”

According to the farm’s Facebook post , staff, family, fellow farmers, neighbors, friends, and the Dracut Police and Fire Department came out to support farm staff.

Staff are currently still looking through the building rubble for farm equipment, according to Shaw. He also said that he is currently trying to find a contractor to rebuild the barn.


He said the collapse was completely unexpected since the storm caused the collapse of a 25-year-old barn while a 110-year-old barn on the property survived.

“I’ve seen that much snow on [the barn] before and nothing occurred,” Shaw said. “So it’s kind of a curious situation.”

Shaw said he’s continued to receive a lot of support and help from nearby communities.

“I received lots of texts and emails, probably 500, [with] people reaching out to me across the dairy industry or my personal life,” Shaw said. “So it’s heartening when you’re dealing with a disaster.”

Ashley Soebroto can be reached at [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter @ashsoebroto .