Dairy hit hard by storm

Freedom New Mexico: Karl Terry Mike Mitchell stands outside the rebuilt milk barn at Grande Vida Dairy on Saturday. After the 2007 tornado the block wall of the building was a pile of rubble. Mitchell rode out the storm just inside the door in the middle of the building.

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

A Roosevelt County dairy owner has rebuilt 98 percent of his facility since it was destroyed by a tornado last March 23.

The event has left Mike Mitchell, owner of Grande Vida Dairy, with a new respect for the forces of nature and a thankfulness for friends and neighbors.

The estimated damage to the structures at the dairy was more than $2 million and the livestock loss was about $735,000, Mitchell said. The dairy lost 350 cattle to the storm.

Mitchell replenished his herd and is now milking 2,400 cattle. which is about 450 more than when the storm hit.