BUTLER — The Love family learned first hand the meaning of neighborly love when a September storm tore down their dairy barn, the following day their Amish neighbors came from every direction to help with the clean up and repair.
“We didn’t even ask, they just came the next day with their equipment to help clean up,” said Don Love. “A junk pile stood there and I didn’t know what to do with it. With their help, we had it cleaned up within a half day.”
The large dairy barn stood among two grain silos and housed over 70 cows before its destruction.
“When the wind storm came through here the day after Labor Day, it took the barn down,” said Love.
Love was gratefully amazed to have 10 Amish families come out to help out with his small family farm.
“We’ve always gotten along, and we’re neighbors being neighbors,” he said.
Since the barn’s fall, the animals have been in the fields gazing on the last strands of green grass before the winter comes. Love hopes the weather stays tolerable until the work is complete.
“The weather’s been nice, other than a few rainy days, but we have to get at least a roof and the walls up before the snow. Right now the cows are out to pasture but that’s why we’re working so hard to get the new barn up. I’m glad we didn’t get a lot of rain and snow like they said we would,” he said. “It’s bad enough being cold but to have snow wouldn’t be good at all.”
A small portion of the old barn remains even as construction of the new building begun last week.
“They started tearing the old out and putting the new in,” said Love, adding that the frame is up and moving forward with the construction.
Love said they are hoping to get the roof completed this week, “at least we would be able to stand some weather without being dumped on.”
The last couple of months have been “a blur” for Love. With all the work being done to restore the barn, Love isn’t concerned over any particular design as long as the building is sound and secure.
“We’ve really had no trouble, so far everything has worked out,” he said.
Reconstruction is well on its way, and Love is encouraged by all the help and support.
Help also came when Keith Chester, teacher of residential construction at the Knox County Career Center, learned of the disaster, and brought out students to experience building a barn.