By Doug Schroder


As a thunderstorm rolled through the area on Thursday night, Aug. 4, lightning struck the barn at Palmdale Farms located at 2161 South Winnebago Road in Winnebago. Shortly before 10 p.m. fire crews were called out to the scene. Overall, 25 different departments were called to the scene.

Luckily, only one cow was lost in the fire. Palm family members tried to get the cow out, but the cow refused to budge. A door was left open in case the cow decided to move, but she never did and perished in the blaze.

Other cows from the farm have been disbursed to other farms in the area where they continue to be milked, as neighbors assist the Palms during this troubling time. The community has really rallied around the Palms.

“Jason Brauer and John Wakeley came out first thing Friday morning to help transport all the milking cows to Al and Jody Lenkeitis and family’s farm. Al texted us right away, when he heard Thursday night, to let us know we could bring all the cows over so they can get milked. They have taken on the extra load without hesitation,” said Sue Palm.

When asked what could be done to help the family, Sue Palm replied, “I think they [the community] have done everything they can – we have enough food for several days and so many that have stopped to offer their time, equipment and love!”

Anna’s, Sullivan’s and Toni’s has donated much food and drink to the family in addition to the many friends who have also stopped by with food.

A GoFundMe page was set up by a well-intentioned neighbor and within 36 hours $3000 was donated. The page was discontinued after the Palms asked for it to be taken down. The 100-year old barn was insured and the loss is estimated to be at least $500,000.

Brothers Marty and Barry Palm grew up on the farm their father, Jerry, bought in 1965.

Clean up of the barn was to take place on Monday, Aug. 8, after the Fire Marshall inspects the scene.

“The support we have gotten these last 36 hours or so have kept us going!!” said Susan Palm on Sunday. “I would like to send a special thank you to Amanda Lamarca. Her generous and loving heart will always be very special to us all.”

It will be interesting to see what the new replacement barn is going to look like as the Palm family moves past this tragedy.

Palm Barn Fire 1

What remains of the barn after a fire at Palmdale Farm on Thursday night, Aug. 4.

Palm Barn Fire 2

What remains of the barn after a fire at Palmdale Farm on Thursday night, Aug. 4.

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