welcome to the bovine bugle
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.
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.
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.
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.
--Jonathan, Howmars Farm
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