Fourteen dairy cows were killed on Western Kentucky University’s farm due to a lightning strike.

The Courier-Journal reported June 25, 1980, that “a herd of 19 animals was in a pasture near the dairy barn when lightning hit late in the afternoon” the previous Monday.

The dead cows were valued at $80,000, and WKU would lose another $30,000 from milk revenue because of the cows’ deaths. Livestock getting killed from lightning is not that uncommon. Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University said “lightning causes about 80 percent of all accident livestock deaths.”

– “Way Back When in Warren County” is compiled by researchers at the Warren County Public Library and appears twice weekly in the Bowling Green Daily News. For more information about the library, visit

Eugene Embry is news editor at the Daily News. He supervises the copy desk. Eugene is in his second stint at the Daily News, having served in various roles as a news reporter, sports reporter and copy editor from 1990-99.

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