During my reign as the 2022 Virginia Dairy Princess, I was asked a particularly interesting question, “What do you think cows would say if they could talk?” At that moment I had no idea what I wanted to say, until I was reminded of a snowstorm we had recently had.
This storm knocked out our power for four days. However, my family was not worried about us, we were worried about our cattle. We spent those days making sure every animal had adequate shelter from the storm. We would tramp through the snow feeding, and transporting water from pasture to pasture, making sure all the livestock were safe. While these days were more difficult than most, we all spend 365 days a year caring for our cattle.
This flashback is when I knew what our cows would say if they could talk. They would say thank you.
I believe that just like a person notices love and care a cow can notice the same things. I think our dairy cows would appreciate how far this industry has come over the years. We have new research being published constantly, helping us learn better practices. We have companies who are coming up with new technology to improve cow comfort. Youth programs that utilize the future generations to help promote the industry. Let’s not forget about the farmers who work tirelessly every day because they care about what they are doing and want to improve the way they farm. The list of our accomplishments could go on forever.
Everyone in the dairy industry is working hard to make the dairy cows’ life as best as possible. I believe that our cattle would see these endeavors. They would say thank you and be grateful for all the strides we are making in the industry.
Cows will never be able to speak but I want everyone to keep this thought in the back of their mind. If we remember that that our cattle would be appreciative of the efforts that we are making for them, I think that would inspire us even more. We would strive to make all efforts to improve their well-being. In the meantime, we get to say thank you to the cows for the continuous efforts they are making for our well-being.
Madison Sifford is the 2023 Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern. She is a student at Virginia Tech majoring in dairy science and communications. Madison grew up in North Carolina before moving with her parents and sisters to Goldvein, Va. Her family raises Holsteins on their Plessed-Rose Dairy, and they also have a small Hereford cow-calf operation.