Completed: 11. Milk a Cow
I happened to find Misty Morning Farm’s Milking School after doing what normal people do — Google searching. Living in Virginia (aka the most wonderful state in the Union), there are a good number of nearby farms that offer cow milking opportunities, but I’m glad I stumbled upon Misty Morning because yes, I wanted to learn how to milk a cow, but I wanted to do so responsibly and not at some shady petting-zoo-like establishment.
You can get a feel for the farm here:
Misty Morning’s milking school is an all-day seminar in which they teach best practices for raising/owning cows. It’s literally hosted in the backyard of the owners’ farm house and feet away from the cows. It’s probably more so aimed at people who are considering buying cows or for those who have cows, but I never felt like an outsider given that I am neither of those things. There were about 30 attendees, some who traveled as far away as Wisconsin. I learned so much about what it takes to raise cows the right way.
Now, onto the cows…
In addition to actually being able to milk a cow, one of the highlights was tasting the cows’ goods. It’s really wonderful to know where your food is coming from. If I had any land, I know I would start growing or raising my own food.
Now onto the main event… My sister joined me on this trip and was a natural.
I wore a GoPro on my head so you all could get up-close-and-personal to the teat.
As I mention in the video, the cow and her parts are so warm. Specifically, the teat feels like a dry, warm, uncooked hot dog. Also, getting the milk to come out was also much easier than I expected. I understand she had been “warmed up” by others, but I thought the process involved more violent tugging. You simply have to gently squeeze it. Another thing, I didn’t expect — unlike me, the cow was really calm the entire time. I have two dogs, both of which are under 15 pounds, so my experience with large animals is limited.
I had a wonderful experience and I can’t speak more highly of Misty Morning and Adam and Faith, the passionate and knowledgeable owners of the farm. Their dairy farm practices should be the standard. I’m glad I found them and completed this goal at their farm.