Dairy Cows on the Prairie

Every once in a while I find myself enjoying something and wonder where did that come from? Often I recall a memory from childhood that makes me smile and say to myself “oh it came from Mom.”

June 26

My Mom loves cattle. She grew up raising and showing beef cattle and Mom and Dad have raised beef cattle their entire marriage. My Mom has a fascination with dairy cattle. Hoard’s Dairyman is one of Mom’s favorite magazines. She likes to keep up to date with the research and breeding going on in the Dairy Industry.

I remember sitting at the kitchen table with a glossy fold out from the Hoard’s Dairyman; their annual dairy cow judging contest. Mom, Sister and I placed classes of cows and sent our entry back to Hoard’s every winter.

June 26

Mom and I always walk through the Dairy Barn while attending State Fair. She quizzes me about the different breeds; I’m not always confident between a Jersey and Guernsey. We also sit and watch the dairy show; it’s fun to listen to the judge give reasons. We look at each other and one of us says “no one would ever use that term in the beef show ring!” I’m pretty good about asking lots of questions and most of the time Mom knows the answer. If she doesn’t we have been known to stop innocent Dairy Farm Wives and ask our questions. They are usually willing to visit with us.

June 26

These dairy cows belong to our neighbor; as you can see she enjoys different breeds of dairy. Our neighbor has several active dairy cows that she hand milks. She separates the milk, churns her own butter and sells cream. Every year the cows make a trip to the County Fair and her four children show them. Last year she told me that showing at the County Fair is a great way to keep things fun for the kids who help milk and care for the cows.

June 26

Thank You Mom for my love of photography and curiosity of dairy cows. I can’t wait to watch the Dairy show with you at this year’s State Fair. Thank You, Neighbor, for grazing your cows along the road for a curious lady to take pictures of.

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12 Responses to Dairy Cows on the Prairie

  1. Terryn says:

    I can remember watching the dairy shows at the state fair also. I was always intrigued by the different breeds. I am not that versed in dairy breed knowledge, but they sure are fun to look at!

  2. Kim says:

    I love the little calf playing hide and seek. I don’t know much about dairy cattle. When I was growing up, we did go to a dairy to get milk, but we never raised milk cows.

  3. TaTania says:

    In highschool I milked cows at a 300 cow dairy. And we also had a cow that my sister’s and I milked by hand at home. It doesn’t matter if you have one or 300, Milking cows is hard work. I know your neighbor too and she puts a lot I of love and work into those cows! And her kids do a wonderful job of showing at the county fair.

    • Robyn says:

      Hey TaTania,
      Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment. I didn’t know you milked cows. Growing up I had a good friend whose family milked; I remember helping when I went to spend the night with her. I had another friend that grew up on a dairy and I helped her show cows at the County Fair.

  4. Darcy says:

    I love this! I grew up raising dairy heifers (and was even a dairy princess for two years) but after a short term at Cal Poly in the dairy science program, I knew I didn’t love dairy cows enough to make that career, and so I came back to Oregon State. I did dairy judge, and love the tradition of the Hoard’s contest. Thanks for sharing your memories, it brought back good ones for me too. 🙂

  5. Cheri says:

    I don’t know much about dairy cows. I know I love milk and cheese! 🙂
    Where I grew up there were quite a few dairies in the area. Since then, most of them have been sold and are gone. So sad.
    Cheri

  6. Linda W says:

    We have lots of Dairy cows out here near the Oregon coast. The town of Tillamook is famous for it’s cheese factory. I like your photos – beautiful cows.

  7. My mom grew up dairy farming, and my sister’s husband did too (his parent retired after 40 years dairy farming.. in their later years still farming, they liked to go on vacations, so my sister & her husband did the milking while they were away.)
    Those Guernseys & Jerseys are my favorite at the fair! Beautiful faces & those lashes. 🙂
    Great shots & memories shared here, Robyn!

  8. Laurie says:

    I know so little about Dairy cows! But I do remember the milk cow, Jenny, we had when I was little. I also remember my dad turning the milk pail upside down in a fast circle and the milk not spilling, not one drop. Still remember the taste of fresh farm milk too. 🙂

    Thank you for linking up and joining the Country Fair Blog Party this week! A great post for the end of National Dairy Month.
    Laurie – Country Link

  9. Roan says:

    I grew up on a grain farm. No animals with the exception of a stray dog or two. Still, I love seeing cows along the road. If they are close enough, I always stop and take pictures. Grandpa had a couple of milk cows and the boys (my uncles) would always spray milk in my face if I happened to get too close when they were milking. Bad uncles! But it’s a fun memory and something I still grumble about when I see them. Love your cow pics!

  10. Bonnie says:

    I’m a sucker for Brown Swiss. Mom used to milk our Brown Swiss, Bossy. I have warm memories of swinging the milk bucket and singing “Old MacDonald had a farm” at the top of my lungs. I also remember walking a half mile past the milk cow to catch the ponies and then ‘chase’ the milk cow to the barn. My mother was a patient woman:) Thanks for the memories.

  11. June Ohm says:

    The thing I miss most about the farm is cattle, especially in the spring when the calves are frolicking in the grass.

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