MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Dakin family has been in the dairy business for decades and has seen many ups and down, but the devastation produced by Hurricane Ian was unlike anything they’ve experienced before.

The storm ripped apart several structures on the property and left twisted metal and debris scattered all around. Eagle 8 HD flew over the dairy farm, showing the widespread damage.

But the storm didn’t only impact structures, it also killed hundreds of Dakin Dairy’s cows. The owner believes the majority of his cows died from stress or shock.

“We’ve been through storms before out here. We have seen hurricanes, we have been through Irma, we have been through that. It has never ever affected us like this,” Tour Director Courtney Dakin said. “The most cattle we ever lost was eight… 250 is a really big difference from eight.”

It is still unclear how the farm will discard of the deceased cattle. Dakin says some may be buried and others may be cremated. The farm has been in contact with the state.

“We have never dealt with anything like this before, not a mass casualty like that, that is a ton of cattle,” said Dakin.

Owner Jerry Dakin says there is a long road to recovery ahead. He says all of the damage and destruction has been “overwhelming” and the farm has incurred costs they’ve “never seen before,” but the community has stepped up to help.

“The community has been excellent, gosh almighty. It about makes me cry,” Dakin said. “The people that have helped us out and everything, I just can’t thank them enough.”

With a lot still unknown, the family says one thing this disaster has made clear is the power of people coming together. Countless have come out to help with the clean-up process and have dropped off donations to help. But beyond their own needs, the folks at Dakin Dairy Farms want to help others in the community who need it.

Alongside other local partners, the farm is serving as an agricultural supply hub for donation drop-offs and and pick-ups.

“So many people want to give out there, they just don’t know how,” said Jerry Dakin.

“We have a reach here at Dakin. I mean, we have a following, we have a very loyal community out here. If we could help in anyway, if we want to,” Courtney Dakin added. “We have set up a donation center out here and we are taking donations as well as sending trucks out to places and people in need. I know these donation centers are set up, but these people can’t get to these donation centers so we are trying to get to those people who can’t get to the donation centers.”

The farm off Betts Road in Myakka City is accepting donations between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. WFLA saw people drop off food, water, feed and bales of hay on Wednesday.

In a post on Facebook, Dakin Dairy said the greatest needs at the moment are propane, charcoal, lighter fluid, charcoal/propane grills, tarps, batteries, flashlights, diapers (sizes 3, 4 and 5,) wipes, formula, snack items, Gatorade, canned soups and paper products.