<abbr class="timedate" title="2010-01-22T19:54:12-0800">Fri Jan 22, 10:54 pm ET</abbr>
<!-- end .byline --> COPAKE, N.Y. ? State police in New York say an upstate dairy farmer shot and killed 51 of his milk cows in his barn before turning the rifle on himself.
State police found the body of 59-year-old Dean Pierson in his Copake barn on Thursday. A visitor found a note Pierson had left on the barn door that said not to come in and to call police.
State police would only say that Pierson was having personal issues.
The Columbia County hamlet of Copake is about 115 miles north of New York City.
Local farmers buried the cows outside the barn Friday. They would not discuss Pierson or what had happened, but one of the men said these are hard times to be a farmer.