My mamaw used to say, “I would rather look at a field of cows than a field of horses any day.” She wasn’t too fond of horses, and to her they were a waste of space. After all, what do you get from them? Something to eat? Nope. (Insert joke about dog food here.) Something to drink? Nope.
Yesterday we went on a field trip to a dairy farm. This particular farm is rather large, and produces milk solely for Lala–the Northern Mexico Dairy Company. Also the producer of the two gallons of milk that I drink each week. We called it “From Farm to Factory,” but really, we should have called it “From Farm to Miss Jania’s Glass.”
I forgot how much I missed the country. Victor said to me last week, “I think I belong on the ranch.” He also said I wasn’t suited for ranch life due to the massive amounts of skeeter bites I already have accumulated. (For those of you who don’t speak Appalachian, skeeter is another word for mosquito.) I feel the need to code switch in order to convince my husband of my country-life qualifications.
I don’t know about my students, but I left the dairy farm completely impressed. The sweet baby cows torn from their mamas on the day they were born was a little heartbreaking. It also might cause my milk to let down just thinking of their big sad eyes. Just kidding. I feel the need to make lactating jokes though in a moment like this.
I have only visited one other dairy farm in my life. It was much different than this. I mean, how could it not be. On my drive to Minnesota when I was 20 I stayed with a friend’s family in Wisconsin. I remember wanting to go out and see the cows, but I was encouraged to help out in the kitchen. That was something that the two did have in common actually, our sweet (and handsome) tour guide both helped me across the barred road, and insisted that we allow the girls to sit down at the table before our little boys took all the chairs. Try explaining that to a 8 year old boy…
The cows in Wisconsin stood in a line where they were attached to a milk machine. The milk went up in pipes into a storage tank beside the barn. These Mexicans have it down though–their cows march onto a revolving carousel, they’re hooked up to pumps, and by the time they make it back around, they back off into a corral. I realized that my Spanish has reached a new level when I understood Old McDonald’s joke, “It takes 7-8 minutes for them to finish giving milk. The rest is just a free ride.”
Sweet cows. I really would like one of these old ladies. Preferably one that speaks with a nice accent like they do in 101 Dalmations. Moo.