Putting on our Dairy Shoes
“Bring rubber boots”—that was my only advice for Elliott, our multimedia producer, the day before we visited a dairy farm for a video we’re producing. Elliott didn’t listen. Poor Elliott’s shoes. Rough start. But the cows sure were cute. Right, Elliott?
We started with an up-close and personal tour of the farm as we snapped photos and took test footage. At one point, the cows, curious about the equipment in our hands and why we were pointing it at them, surrounded us. They were super friendly, but the sheer mass was a bit intimidating at that moment. I think one of them stepped on Elliott’s shoes.
Dairy farmer fact #1: dairy farmers play favorites. Dairy farmer fact #2: dairy farmers recognize their favorites not by face or marking or sound but by udder. In retrospect, that makes sense: the health of the cows’ udders is of supreme importance on a dairy farm: we make time to get to know what we care for most.
Meanwhile, as Elliott took test footage, one of the cows decided to make her thoughts known. At first, we thought she was saying, “Look at me; I’m gorgeous,” but it turned out that she was telling Elliott that he and his filthy shoes were standing in the way of the water trough.
Later, we were getting some footage in one of the feeding pens and wondered whether the cows would run away if Elliott walked through the hay. Turns out that when it comes to hay, a man with video equipment standing in hay is nothing more than a man with a hay connection. Elliott made some friends. Better yet, they didn’t judge him for his shoes.
We had a great time, and we will be coming back to the farm in a few weeks to produce a video tour that communicates the movements of a dairy farm from sun up to sun down. I enjoyed my time on the farm and appreciate connecting to the farm part of the farm-to-fork movement so prevalent in the food industry.
And, as much as I worked hard for dairy marketing, I mostly just enjoyed hanging out with cows. Not sure how Elliott feels, but I think he enjoyed it, too.