Woodrum Farms in Camden Township lost ‘a lot’ of revenue when cattle escaped, family says

Family touched by overwhelming community support during their time of need.


By Heather Chapin, The Morning Journal (OH)

July 27, 2022


In 61 years, Marian Woodrum and her family have never lost a herd of cattle from their Camden Township farm until June 29.


A herd of 27 full-grown Black Angus cows and steers owned by Woodrum Farms, 16490 Gifford Road, which is near Oberlin, became spooked when an old dead tree fell unexpectedly in the cattle’s pasture, Woodrum said.


“There was no wind that I recall, it just fell,” she said. “When it came down, it just scared them to pieces.”


As the herd was spooked and began wildly running, it breached a sturdy gate erected by the experienced farmers with not only a slam-locking system, but also a hefty chain, Chad Woodrum said.


“They got spooked and just blew through that gate,” he recalled.


There are three cows unaccounted for that are being pursued by the farmers and others who are looking for them.


“I wish we could get them back,” Marian Woodrum said, noting the danger the animals pose being out in the wild.


One of them was struck by a motorist on state Route 303, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol post.


Shortly after that incident, large electronic signs were erected on state Route 511 in two separate places warning drivers of loose cattle in the area.


During the first week, Chad Woodrum and his father, Jim Woodrum, netted about 10 hours of sleep each as they were out looking for their herd.


Meanwhile, the cattle went back into their instinctual habits as prey animals and became nocturnal, resting during the day and coming out in the cover of darkness to graze on the thousands of acres of farmland and forest surrounding the Gifford Road farm.


Initially, the herd was tracked into the eastern portion of the farm property, which is field corn, now about 4-feet tall, surrounded by thick wooded areas.


But then, the herd split in two and headed west, Chad Woodrum said...