MONTROSE, Pa. — As a Susquehanna County Dairy Ambassador, one of my jobs is to spread the word to our community about the benefits of dairy and how farmers work hard everyday to make sure we have dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt readily available to us. Did you know, however, that many dairy promoters also spend a lot of their time learning more about cows and the dairy industry by participating in other clubs? For example, I am also a member of the PA Jr. Holstein Association and a member of the Born to Show 4-H Club where I learn about, care for, and show dairy calves.
This year I am showing 4 calves. Each is a different age and has her own unique personality. My favorite calf is named Antique. Antique is a summer yearling heifer that was born last June. She has a sweet, loving, and occasionally sassy personality. Antique is also a Holstein, which you can tell by her black and white markings! She recently had the opportunity to be featured in a Susquehanna County Dairy Promotion video that highlighted information about the Holstein breed. (The video can be found on the Susquehanna County Diary Promotion Facebook page)
There are many things about Holsteins that you may not know. Holsteins are the most common dairy breed. In fact, they might even be considered the big “H” in dairy. Do you know where Holsteins came from? They came from the Netherlands in 1850, and quickly became popular here for the abundance of milk they produce. Quiet, calm, and generally sweet, the Holstein cow can produce up to 9 gallons of milk a day, and they also make great mamas.
As a Holstein, when Antique is full grown, she will weigh up to 1500 pounds. Right now, she weighs about 800, and when she was born she weighed 90-100 pounds. Soon Antique will be old enough and big enough to breed. When she is bred, she will carry a calf for 9 months just like humans. After she has her first calf, she will begin to give milk. and join the ranks of all dairy cows that collectively put nutritious dairy products on our shelves, so we can be sure to get our daily 3 servings of dairy!
One last fun fact…..Did you know that a Holstein cow has spots like snowflakes? No two are exactly alike!
–Charlotte Quick, Susquehanna County Dairy Ambassador