Wednesday, March 3, 2010

RAISED BY HOLSTEINS

I was raised by Holsteins. Okay, not really. I had two loving, steady parents who started their farm with a few acres of dirt and a big black stray cow named Cora. By the time my folks retired to town many years later they owned their dairy farm; which included around two hundred acres, a fine milking barn and a big herd of black and white cattle. (They had also put four kids through college and contributed much to their community.)

When drought, frost, disease, grasshoppers and/or the bank threatened to put us in the homeless category; the Holsteins were a consistent source of income. We always had milk to drink and to sell.

Dad gave me a heifer to care for as a 4-H project. By the time I had her ready for the county fair that fall she was friendly, sleek and on her way to becoming part of our milking herd.

The night before the fair we gave her a show haircut, washed her, braided her tail and polished her hooves. We didn’t have a cattle trailer and the pickup was out for repairs so transportation the eight miles to the fairgrounds was our Chevrolet sedan. We took out the back seat and covered the floor with potato sacks. Since my baby was still a young animal she fit in the back of the car just fine. We rolled down the window and she put her head out to smell the hay fields as we passed.

You can’t see it very well in the photo, but I am holding a first place blue ribbon in my hand.

8 comments:

Krista said...

What fun memories! Love the picture - cute cow, hot heiffer, beaut bovine! And you look adorable too!

Flea said...

Way cool! I remember, as a kid, riding in the back of my Papaw's Chevy with a calf on the floor quite a few times. I recently inherited my Papaw's branding iron. Everyone gets tattoos for Christmas this year. :)

Pam said...

The animals I see being groomed for the show ring seem to love it! I recently watched a documentary on cattle that participate in cultural celebrations in different parts of the world, Africa, India, Switzerland etc. and how they are both groomed and decorated.They all seemed to know they looked pretty good. Great photo!

Woman in a Window said...

Hmmm, I find something so honest in living this way. Honest and beautiful. And look at you all thin and tall and on the verge of woman...

xo
erin

DayPhoto said...

LOVE IT!!! Parents can be so resourceful when it comes to thier children!

Delightful post!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

frayedattheedge said...

We live in part of a converted farm steading, and the building which is now my studio was once a (very small) milking parlour!!

ELIZABETH said...

Us city kids sure missed out.
I did go to a few fall fairs but never learned to appreciate the smell of the cow barns ;)

Linda Sue said...

The blue ribbon- for you or the cow...You look like a blue ribbon gal to me! What a cutie. The cow , too. I always got so sad to see the four h'ers parade their animals in front on the judges having worked so hard - some didn't win and some of the livestock went bye bye. so sad. I was in 4H...for baking...I couls handle that ok.