Farming is not easy. In fact, it's one of the toughest jobs out there. Long hours, backbreaking manual labor...it takes a special mindset and tough-as-nails resolve to be a farmer in Maine.

The Fortin Meat Market has been in the Winslow area since the early 1900s.

According to the Fortin Meats, LLC Facebook page:

"We are a calf cow beef operation. Our cattle graze on pasture land and are fed a wrapped silage diet during the winter months to provide a pasture-fed and pasture finished product straight to your home."

Tragedy struck the farm this past weekend, as a storm made its way through the area, and lightning took out a tenth of the farm's herd of cows.

Apparently, the cows had been out in the pasture when the storm rolled in.

A report from the Bangor Daily News says farmer John Fortin was haying nearby when he got the call...

"Then he got a call from his neighbor telling him lightning had just struck a tree where eight of Fortin's cows had taken shelter from the rain. All eight had been electrocuted and were dead. Fortin said the landowner lives close to where the lightning struck and he did not want the man's children to see the dead animals. The lightning bolt had been strong enough to throw several of the cows 10- to-20 feet into gate panels which were damaged by the impact."

The Winslow community has rallied its support for the Fortin, raising over $5000 in one day in a GoFundMe campaign.

Trying to show gratitude and optimism in the face of this hardship, the family put out this response to the support this week, over social media.

"The GoFundMe goal has been met and we can’t say thank you enough to every single person who donated. We are grateful and overwhelmed with the response. We still have plenty of ground beef in stock along with select steak cuts. Please message us to place an order."

We wish them the best as they work to rebuild.

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