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Follow organic dairy farmer Jonathan Gates as he reports weekly from his Vermont family farm. Howmars Farm is a certified organic dairy farm, one of many Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative farmer members who supply the milk that goes into making Stonyfield's yogurts and smoothies. The entire family pitches in on this third-generation farm. Check out some of the happenings on his farm and post your comments. Jonathan loves to get feedback from readers.

The tale of the wandering steer, and his buddies

After we got back from our run/walk this morning, Karen could hear one of the livestock crashing around in the woods behind the house. That isn't where it was supposed to be, so we walked out back to see what was going on. One of the steers had managed to get on the other side of the fence and, of course, was crying because he couldn't figure out how to get back.

Fall Cow in Woods Oct 2005.JPG

I called to the steer as I walked out into the pasture, and he came down off the ledge and headed in the direction of the gate. When I called, all his buddies came running over to the gate, too. I kept them all occupied by shaking some apples off a nearby wild apple tree. While they butted each other around trying to get the apples, I let Guy, the wandering steer, back through the gate.

Fall Cows Sniffing Oct 2005.JPG

I can't believe how much the heifers and steers love apples. They will even take them from my hand, just like a horse would. We kid that the livestock are fighting the deer to get to the wild apples first.

Fall Cow Close up Oct 2005.JPGFall Cow Eats Apple.JPG

With everyone back together, I led them back towards the house and into a fresh paddock of grass and clover. Soon they were all munching contentedly, enjoying the benefits of the warm fall weather.

Fall Cows Eat Clover Oct 2005.JPG--Jonathan, Howmars Farm
Franklin, Vermont

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How cute is that!!! I love your updates. i wish I could be close to having this kind of life. Instead I am tied to my computer. You help me feel good about my day. Thanks, Cher.

This is my first visit to your blog and it is wonderful. I am going to send the information to my grandchildren so they can learn about the farm and its animals.

Thank you for sharing all about your life on the farm.

I was the horse lover, my husband grew up on a dairy farm. I could write a book about my introduction to the bovine ilk. I remember pampering a lead heifer royally, and if she and her 5 companions ever got loose, all I had to do was shake a grain can, call Babe, and she led the others back to me. The old farmers laughed

at me, but I didn't spend the hours chasing loose critters that they did. Loved all my critters, and miss the life. I am a transplanted State of Mainer, in Hawa'ii.

I love your blogs! This one with the cows eating apples out of your hands is really special. I can see they really are so well taken care of and actually know you! I never thought cows had so much personality! Thank You for the great stories.

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