It sounds like a really bad situation all around, though I am glad they are donating the meat.
In the 1930s and in the 1950s there were savage, years-long droughts in the central U.S. Lots of cattle died for lack of food. Undoubtedly those occurred in the centuries before as well. One has to wonder, for example, how many buffalo died out on the American grasslands during those periods. Probably hundreds of thousands that couldn’t get enough to eat.
It’s distressing to see these things happen, but they’re surely inevitable from time to time.