Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The "Albino" Heifer?

Today on the Beef Daily blog I posted a comment about the funny inquiries or questions we sometimes get from non-farm folks about cattle or farming in general.  I thought I'd share my comment with you on my blog to see if it might make you chuckle, too. 

Photo from cattlemanagement.com.
As show season picks up, I am reminded about last year's North Carolina State Fair.  One of my 4-H kids was showing a beautifully white, fluffy-haired Charolais beef heifer calf.  While the heifer was in the grooming chute getting a last minute hair cut, the alley was open for the general public to see the cattle up close and personal.  Two families happened to catch a glimpse of the calf and got all excited.  The mother of the first family that came by said, "Wow…hey kids…look at this albino cow! Can we pet it?”

It was all I could do to not giggle. I quickly explained that the white hair coat helped to indicate her breed. The second family that came by also asked, “Is this an albino cow?” I jokingly said, “Yep…can’t you tell by it's bright red eyes?” Once they looked at it’s eyes and realized they weren’t red, they gave me a deer-in-the-headlight look. They knew by my grin that something was up. My response made for a good conversation starter!

The second funny thing that happened at the state fair last year was when a fair worker got cow poo on his brand new white tennis shoe as he walked through the barn.  Talk about having a fit!  He then proceeded to a big puddle near a spigot in the cattle barn to swish around his shoe to get the manure off. What he didn’t realize was that about five minutes earlier, a heifer urinated to make that nice big puddle.  Sorry to say it,  buddy, but that wasn’t water!  (Well, I guess it was...but not the kind he was looking for!) I would venture to guess he probably realized this the next morning when his shoe didn't smell too fresh!

There is always something that makes us laugh when we show animals -- making it one of the reasons why we do it.  There is nothing like a good fun laugh every now and then.  But in all seriousness, what better way to learn about animals than to ask the people doing the growing, right?

What is your favorite show memory or funny moment?


  1. Would you be willing to add this story to our new website, http://statefair.ncdcr.gov? We're looking for memories of the Fair, to help document its history, and this is a great one!

  2. I added a couple of things to it and submitted it on the site. The only thing I didn't realize until it was too late to change it was whether I wanted my name published with it. The box was left blank. If you'd like to put down my name, this is fine. If there is a term agreement I need to approve, please let me know.