Agriculture & Livestock: Why not a day designated for cows?

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Diane Prather

People celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparents’ Day. There’s even a Children’s Day.

Secretaries have their own day, and bosses, too. Some stores have a Customer Appreciation Day, and there are a lot more examples of days set aside to honor and show appreciation for people, even animals.

This week, Craig resident Deana Cheatham told me that July 16 is designated as Cow Appreciation Day.

So, I’ve been wondering what might happen if a rural town decided to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day.

Consider the following scenario:

There’s country music in the air. A band, led by majorettes holding a “We Appreciate Cows” banner, comes into view.

A huge cow balloon, manned by several people holding onto ropes, floats overhead. Cows representing several breeds ride on flatbed trailers.

Several floats follow, including those with themes like these: “How Cows Help Conserve the Land,” “Cows in Literature,” and “Cow By-Products.”

One float features a giant glass of milk and other dairy products, and volunteers hand spectators ice cream bars.

There’s also a special section roped off downtown filled with booths offering cow items for sale. There are cow toys, clocks, napkins, refrigerator magnets, cookie jars, cups, towels and more.

Cattlewomen pass out pamphlets with information about cows. One booth has “Hug a Cow Today” T-shirts. Still another challenges people to guess the weight of a big cow in a pen.

People enter their favorite cow photographs in a contest. Kids try to catch a plastic cow head with a rope.

All in all, it’s a day of fun for all.

So that’s the way a town might celebrate Cow Appreciation Day. Now consider the following ways to show a cow that she’s appreciated on her special day:

• If a cow has her head through a woven wire fence, eating grass on the other side, let her eat a few minutes before you tighten the fence with some wire.

• Give a cow a handful of grain, but be careful if there are other grain-wise cows nearby or you’ll get trampled.

• Spray or powder a cow if she’s covered with deer flies. She won’t like it, but later, when she’s fly-free, she’ll appreciate your gift (if she connects the insecticide with being fly-free).

• Scratch a cow; really scratch her. This is probably the favorite treat for a cow.

• Move the cows to a new pasture with lots of ungrazed grass.

• If a cow is near the garden, pull her a few corn stalks.

• If it’s winter, give the cows more hay.

• Put out some protein blocks, or even better, a tub filled with minerals, protein and molasses.

• Chase the flies off a cow’s back, which is a job because the flies just go from one side of the cow to the other.

• Let a cow itch on the corner of a loose corral pole before you nail it back in place.

• Brush and comb a cow.

• In the winter, let the cow spend the night where there’s a loafing shed for shelter.

• Also in winter, knock the icicles off a cow’s face.

• In early spring, pull up handfuls of bright green grass from across the fence and hand feed it to a cow.

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