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Students, alumni clamor to take care of university’s cows

[July 29, 2020: AP News]

When the coronavirus pandemic forced the University of Vermont to close and send its students home, the alarm spread:

What would happen to the cows?

The university’s beloved herd of about 100 dairy cows is normally tended by students taking part in the Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management program, or CREAM. And without those students, the fate of the cows seemed to be in jeopardy.

In no time, dozens of CREAM alumni and students clamored to spend their spring and summer caring for the Holsteins.

“I would rather do nothing else than this over the summer,” said recent graduate Claudia Sacks, of Macungie, Pennsylvania.


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On a recent hot weekday, she rose in the dark to help milk the cows at 3:30 a.m. By early afternoon she was shoveling out the calves’ stalls. When she sees her favorite cow, Lazlo, she hugs her around the neck and gives her a kiss.

“I’ve learned so much from them,” she said.

“They’ve taught me how to be a kind person and how to love other people. You go into the barn and you see one of the cows licking another cow and it’s just, I don’t know, just a sense of sisterhood almost between them so it’s really lovely to see the family that they’ve formed between themselves but also the family that we can form with them.”

Many have other jobs as well and are working at the farm because they have a passion for animals and agriculture, he said.

“These cows as well cared for as any animals in Vermont, maybe any animals in the country,” he said. “These students love these cows to pieces.”.... MORE


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