Saturday, August 9, 2008

Holy Cow!

So, the family went to the State Fair last Friday. What do I remember about the State Fair as a kid? I remember:
  • My cousins, my sister & I stopping at EVERY political booth and collecting as many bumper stickers and buttons as possible, and one cousin & I wore every single one of them. We were plastered with political propaganda!
  • I remember the GIGANTIC pigs! Or hogs... or whatever they were! They were big!
  • I remember riding the train to get there.
Yup, that's about it!
I do NOT remember cows...
At all!

My niece shows cows (I know there are other words that you're supposed to use when you show cattle... heifers, steers, etc... I'm just gonna go with cows. Cool?), so we spent a lot of time in the Jr. Livestock barn with the family surrounded by cows. I took well over 150 pictures just in the cow barn, which just added to my "I don't fit in at ALL in a cow barn" look I had going! I did learn some things, however, so I thought I would share some of my cow knowledge with the world!
Lesson #1: It's very important to wear a John Deere hat. No, not really... I didn't see any other girls with them on, but for some reason, Sis thought she should wear one.

There did seem to be some sort of uniforms required for a lot of people, though. Most men wore short sleeved plaid shirts with their jeans and boots.

And a LOT of the girls wore the blinged-out belts & necklaces. Not my niece, though, although I offered to help her buy some bling!
It's not everyday that I get out-blinged!!!

Lesson #2: Cows come with a LOT of equipment.

Pictured here is a butt fan. Yup, that's what I said: a butt fan. I'm not sure if that' s the TECHNICAL name of it, but that's what it's called. We wouldn't want a cow's butt to get hot, now would we???

Apparently it's use is to keep the cow's "underside" cooled off, so the fur (hair?) stays nice to show.

Lesson #3: Cows have a lot of "stuff" coming out of them. Right before a show, Don saw a cow poop on the ramp to go into the show area. The owner (no lie) wiped the cow's rear right then and there. Also, look at the slobber coming out of this cow. I guess it's no different than kids, but it seems grosser coming out of a big cow!

Lesson #4: Cows use hair product... or maybe it's fur product... or maybe it's something completely different. This is a picture of the stuff they spray on their legs and in their tails. It's called Tail Adhesive. It has a picture of a monkey on it. What?????

Lesson #5: Cows require a lot of work! This is my niece, Bub, and I heading over to the "tie-in" (or maybe it was tie-up, or tie-down??? Can't remember, actually!) area where the cows sleep at night. Notice the pitchfork I'm holding... don't I look like a natural? My niece had to clean up all the "cow patties" in the straw, add more straw, fluff the straw, then add hay (which is more grassy looking than the straw) for the cow to eat that night. Whew! Not only did she do all that work for HER cows, she also did it for all her neighbors at the tie-dye... which leads me to #6.

Lesson #6: "Cow people" are the nicest, most helpful people I've ever been around! The cow I saw my niece is trimming (or whatever) is not even her cow! She was done showing her cows by this point, so she was helping others' with their cows. As they did with her. She also cleaned up their tie-down area. They'd cleaned hers the night before. My friend put it very well: "That's amazing how they help out who could possibly be their competitors..." That's a great point, but it's just the way they are... SO NICE!

Lesson #7: When people talk about the Butter Cow at the State Fair, it's not a cow that produces butter. Because a cow couldn't do that. I know that. It just took me a minute to realize that I know that. Embarrassing.

A butter cow is actually a cow CARVED out of butter. That makes more sense, doesn't it?

Hope you enjoyed your bovine lesson. Let me know if you have ANY questions about cows at all, because I now know it all.


Blessed Mama said...

Well if I had to give milk while I was spitting up and pooping and trying to keep my hair looking nice, I would need a butt fan too!

LissaLou said...

Wow - this was very informative! I'm glad you learned so much on your trip and were able to share it all with us. Especially since I'm never around cows and haven't been to a state fair in quite some time.

granny2five said...

Your Great-grandma Lindsay would be appalled at your lack of knowledge where cows are concerned! What a hoot. Loved the butt fan part. I, personally, feel like I could have used one of those a few times.

Anonymous said...

Bree-Ann showed cows for years at the county fair. We would be up at 4am to wash the heifer on show day. We would sit in the stall eating while the cow pooped right next to us. Your story brought back fond memories. Carla

Anonymous said...

hey blessed mama....these r obviously not dairy cows....they r meat heifers and steers comeon. don

Blessed Mama said...

obviously...I was just pretending not to know that.