Farmer thankful for community support following storm destruction.

August 31, 2018

Farmer thankful for community support following storm destruction.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

BRANCH TOWNSHIP — Tuesday night’s storm caused major damage to several locations around Mason County. Economically, the largest impact was most likely the destruction of two 16,000 square foot hog barns on Schoenherr Road.

Jake Zwagerman, who owns the farming operation, said he has been astonished by the outpouring of community support that has come out to help him and his family clean up in the aftermath.

“It is amazing how the rural community comes out to help in a time of need,” Jake said. “I can’t wrap my head around how many people have stopped by to help. I would say I’ve had over 200 calls. It’s such a huge blessing.”

Jake said his faith has kept him going through the ordeal.

“The thing that got me through this was on Tuesday night, the night of the storm, I pulled up and I’ve got a cross on my north barn. That was the only thing standing there and that showed me that through all things, good will come of it, to see that cross standing there.

The barns held over 3,800 hogs and Jake estimated that there were only about 40 pigs that died immediately following the storm. “I am just again amazed that we had basically only 1 percent loss of our livestock. That was just another miracle,” he said. Jake added that all of the hogs were able to be contained inside the barns following the storm. The pigs were relocated to another site Wednesday.

Jake said he estimates that it will cost almost $1 million to replace the barns, adding that he plans to rebuild. The buildings were insured. 

“I would just like to thank the community for its support,” Jake said.

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