“Let’s go cow tipping” or “Chocolate Milk comes from Brown Cows” or “Strawberry Milk comes from Red Cows”. We have all heard these funny ideas people have about dairy cows. I am sure you have seen a t-shirt highlighting one of these “myths” or “urban legends” about cows. As of today, I have been married to my dairy farmer husband for over 16 years. In all of those years, I have never witnessed a “cow tipping” event. What I have seen is the love and dedication dairy farmers have for their animals. From the newborn calf struggling to take its first breath, an older cow having a tough time getting up from her stall, or a new cow in the milking parlor that refuses to go in and get milked for the first time (FYI – the first time is always the toughest) most dairy farmers have a level of compassion that is unbelievable. I wish more people could see this and understand this is the norm and not the exception. With that said, my children’s 4-H animals are like members of our family. We are lucky that we can keep them in a barn where we can interact, play, pet, and talk with them every day. If you ever have a chance to watch a 4-H dairy show at your local fair, please take the time to watch. You will be amazed at the amount of love and dedication these kids have for their animals. Remember, you may not ever be able to “tip” a cow, but you never know when you could ride one like a horse 🙂
One of the many blessings of entering the spring season on a dairy is the realization that “show” season is right around the corner. Luckily in our part of the country, we have several youth fairs and other shows available for dairy kids to participate in. In our local youth fair, dairy is the largest show with over 95 kids participating. The joy of helping your son or daughter help lead a young calf becomes part of the daily schedule. Our family is 6 years into participating in 4-h and I must admit, we have more and more fun every year. So when I wonder if we are ever going to get the kids ready for the shows as well as get their homework done I remember one important thing.