COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) – Last July, a farm in Columbiana County suffered a devastating loss. Three barns caught fire and dozens of livestock died. But now, the family is nearly done rebuilding, and 2023 is getting off to a great start.

Whiteleather Farms celebrated 100 years on land near Minerva in 2022. But on July 15, a fire burned three of its barns, one dating back to the beginning of the farm.

There were 65 calves lost in the fire, and other cows were without shelter until now. In just under six months, the barns were rebuilt. One houses cows that are about to have calves, and the other houses new calves.

“I’m fortunate for the workers. Fortunate it wasn’t as bad as it was,” said Lawrence Whiteleather.

The rebuild has come with some minor struggles. Whiteleather said concrete costs have risen drastically, making the barns’ foundations more expensive.

Garage doors are on backorder until March, so they are using weather-resistant fabric garage doors, which got the cows through the Christmas winter storm.

“Was able to close everything up tight and it held some heat. We have enough cows that it did make a little bit more heat, so it was good that way,” Whiteleather said.

Even in the middle of rebuilding, work on the farm has not slowed down.

“A lot of construction work and a lot of cows having calves, and we just got fortunate,” Whiteleather said.

A calf was born Monday.

Lawrence is most thankful for everyone who helped rebuild the barns.

“Sisters and brothers and nephews and everybody that had a little bit in it,’ Whiteleather said. “I’m just a cow feeder, and I just take care of the cows. I mean, the crew–it’s unmeasurable what we had.”

Another barn is also being built to house more calves. Lawrence says it will make it easier to feed them. The new structures are making for a great start to the New Year.

“Fron ashes to this. It’s amazing,” he said.