Dec. 7 2018 09:40 AM

Dr. Dave reminds us all to “thank a cow” this holiday season.

David Dickson, known to many as Dr. Dave, was a longtime professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and well-respected dairy judging coach. While often recognized as an expert in dairy cattle evaluation, a lesser-known fact is that Dr. Dave was also an accomplished poet.

The following excerpt can be found in the newly released reprint of Dr. Dave’s poem collection titled Christmas in Dairyland – now available in the Hoard’s Dairyman bookstore. Enjoy, and happy holidays to you and your family!

View a preview of the book at

Christmas in Mooville

Welcome to Mooville, it’s a quaint little town;
Turn left at the crossroads, go up hill and down.
And, just when you think that you’ve gone way too far,
You’ll drive ‘round the bend, and well, there you are!

Mooville is nestled there snug in the snow,
Stars twinkling above, Christmas lights all aglow,
No real claim to fame, so the Mayor allows,
Except for the hundreds and hundreds of cows.

There are cows in the pastures and cows in the stalls,
Even pictures of bovines on living room walls.
Yes, welcome to Mooville; come in, sit a spell.
And listen my friend to the story they tell.

All the people of Mooville like Christmas a lot,
But sometimes their cows get a little forgot.
What with programs and baking and shopping and such,
Time for the cows is somewhat less than much.

A lick and a promise, no time for the brush,
Going here in a hurry and there in a rush.
On the night before Christmas, so local folks say,
One of those cows up and wandered away.

Out of her stanchion and straight through the gate,
And right into Mooville. ‘Twas getting quite late,
But she wanted to know, she just had to find out,
What Christmas in Mooville was really about.

She wandered and wondered, went up streets and down,
She listened and watched every person in town.
Mothers and fathers filled little ones’ socks
With dollies and baseballs and candy and blocks.

Some carolers stopped by a house on the street
Singing songs of the Christ child, tender and sweet.
A grandfather plugged in the lights on a tree
While all of the family shouted with glee.

And, there in the light near a snow covered birch
Stood Mary and Joseph by the old Mooville church.
They were just wooden cut-outs, but imagine her pride
When the cow saw that stable with cattle inside.

Maybe Christmas means cows, our little friend thought;
She paused for a moment — but probably not.
No, Christmas is sharing and caring and love
And friendship and laughter and stars up above.

Christmas is children, it’s folks young and old;
It’s peace on the earth and it’s wonders untold.
Christmas is presents ‘neath evergreen boughs,
But it’s certainly, pointedly, not about cows.

Tears came to her eyes in the cold and the dark
As she stood there alone in the Mooville Town Park.
Then, suddenly people were gathering around
Where moments before there were none to be found.

Practically all of the people in Mooville were there;
They whistled and clapped and they called for the Mayor.
He raised just one hand and they all settled down;
But they cheered when he said cows supported the town.

“The doctor, the lawyer, they count on the ‘Moo,’
The housewife, the feed man, the milk tester, too;
The baker, the milkman, and surely the vet;
The trucker, the druggist — I’m not finished yet!

The grocer, the butcher, the folks at the bank —
All the people in Mooville have cows they should thank!”

He turned on the lights, made no further remark,
And unveiled a statue in front of the park.
Her heart skipped a beat, for there in the light
Shone a cow carved from stone, an incredible sight!

Each curve and each hollow and, yes, every spot
Were precisely like hers, believe it or not!
There was dancing and singing in Mooville that night,
And that cow joined right in to the children’s delight!

True story or not? You’ll have to decide,
I just tell the facts that the people provide.
But, I know down in Mooville the folks all believe
That cows deserve thanks when it comes Christmas Eve.

Aisha Liebenow

The author is the special publications manager. Aisha is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Life Sciences Communication and Environmental Science. She is responsible for the Hoard’s Dairyman bookstore and creating educational resources for farmers, students, and dairy industry professionals.

Bill Weiss

Join us on December 10, 2018 for our next webinar:
"Cutting feed costs without cutting milk"
presented by Bill Weiss, The Ohio State University

Sponsored by QLF

It is easy to cut feed costs, but it’s harder to cut costs without sacrificing milk production. This webinar will discuss controlling expenses by selecting cost-effective ingredients, grouping cows correctly, and formulating diets to provide adequate nutrients without over-formulating the ration. Register here for all webinars.