Winning cow brings festive spirit

Winning cow brings festive spirit 

What sums up Christmas better than a cow wearing a Santa hat?

Officially known as cow number 711 on the University of Queensland’s research farm at Gatton, this placid Brown Swiss happily modelled the hat to earn the title of Miss December for 2017 in the Legendairy online calendar.

The calendar is part of Dairy Australia’s celebration of the special bond Australia’s Legendairy farmers have with their animals.

The photo was submitted by animal attendant Emily Ward. “I saw the calendar competition on Facebook and thought I’ve got a photo that would work for that,” Emily said.

“She’s about 10 years old, she’s probably the quietest cow in the herd and the only one that would stand still to put the hat on.”

The cow is part of a mixed herd of about 300 Holstein-Friesians and Brown Swiss cows at the University of Queensland research dairy. 

The farm is jointly owned by the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and the University of Queensland.

It covers 1064 hectares and includes a dairy, piggery, sheep and goat herd, horticultural fields, post-harvest facilities and greenhouses, and an extensive range of plant and farm machinery. 

The dairy is fully functional and the land is also used for education and research work.

After graduating from the university, Emily stayed on to work on the farm. Her job as an animal attendant covers basic on-farm tasks such as herd health, reproduction, milking and calf rearing mixed with teaching and facilitating research trials.

“I grew up on a beef farm but dairy is a great industry to work in,” she said. “We’re having one of our better seasons on the farm and have increased our numbers.”

Emily also likes to support Legendairy. “I like what Legendairy does to promote the industry and hope there can be more of it,” she said.

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