MU Extension project helps 93-year-old farmer – Houston Herald

Farmers like 93-year-old Harry Keutzer don’t quit just because their body parts slow down.

His hens, cows and pets depend on him. So do customers at the Kansas City-area farmers markets where he sells produce, eggs and hand-loomed rugs.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project, through University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, provides aging farmers with information, referrals and a variety of resources to keep working.

Lincoln University Extension farm and AgrAbility outreach worker Susan Jaster carried out an assessment of accessibility at Keutzer’s Lafayette County farm and made recommendations on how to make the home safer and more accessible.

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Harry Keutzer

HARRY KEUTZER

MU Extension state health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch said AgrAbility helps farmers with disabilities caused by age, injury or illness to keep farming. The program provides research-based information and appropriate referrals to other agencies as needed.

America’s farm population has been aging rapidly over the last 30 years. According to the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, released in 2014, the average age of U.S. farmers is 58.3 years. There are now more farmers over 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44, Funkenbusch said.

Keutzer and his daughter-in-law, Stacy, grew 3,000 tomato plants in a high tunnel last year. They also planted a three-acre garden and put in a large plot of potatoes on a neighbor’s garden spot. Stacy picks all of the produce and Harry sorts it. Both wash and pack it.

Mobility is a challenge. When it rains, Keutzer has to stay inside and can’t work. But Keutzer’s energy level and stamina during the three-hour farm assessment surprised Jaster.

“He has the energy and deserves to be able to carry on his active life,” she said.

AgrAbility recommended a different type of scooter to reduce fatigue and help him maneuver around the farm over muddy and rough ground. The program also recommended a hydraulic lift to move pallets from the ground to make it easier to load produce onto the enclosed truck the Keutzers take to farmers markets.

Harry’s weathered hands are rarely idle and his mind remains active with farmer ingenuity. He finds it increasingly difficult to plant, so he and his son, Virgil, built a transplanter for their small tractor. It plants and waters the plant plug and lays weed-barrier plastic.

He uses his scooter to check on 100 chickens and takes buckets of water to livestock. He milks a three-teated cow that provides milk for two calves and a gallon a day for milk, butter, homemade ice cream and tapioca for the Keutzers.

He still enjoys cutting wood. He makes wine and helps his daughter-in-law cut fabric strips to make into loomed rugs. In October, he assisted a calving cow with a difficult birth.

Keutzer grew up working with his brothers on his father’s 500-acre farm at Creighton, Mo. He was so small when he started milking cows that his father had a special milking stool made for him.

He went to a country school until eighth grade. He said boys carried .22-caliber single-shot rifles to school, shooting rabbits and squirrels along the way to feed their families. And all boys had a two-bladed pocketknife, he says, to skin wild game and play “mumblepeg” at recess.

After school each day, he listened to 15 minutes of the Tom Mix cowboy show on the radio before starting chores. The radio wasn’t turned on again until 9:30 p.m., when the family listened to “Amos ’n’ Andy” and the news.

He farmed with a team of horses before buying his first tractor, a Farmall F-20. In 1942, Harry bought his second tractor, an Allis-Chalmers WC, at auction for $870.

He and other farmers anxiously awaited electrification through REA. On Jan. 7, 1945, he and his wife, Johnnie, celebrated her birthday in nearby Clinton. They returned home to a house lit with electricity, and their new Montgomery Ward refrigerator was plugged in and running.

He, his wife and a hired hand traveled the area baling hay from spring to fall. His wife drove the tractor as he put the 8 ½-foot wires into the baler. The hired hand tied the bales. It was hard work, but Keutzer and his wife made enough money to buy a new Kaiser automobile with cash.

In 1952, the Keutzers moved to southern Minnesota, where his uncles lived. He rented 320 acres on shares and was one of the first to plant soybean. Corn was selling for $1.25 a bushel under a government price-protection system.

Times were different then, Harry recalls. Farm implement dealers and oil companies helped young farmers get started by extending credit until crops were sold. He bought a four-row cultivator, planter, disk, a new corn picker and two new tractors – a John Deere 720 diesel and an IH Farmall 400 – on credit.

He and Johnnie also opened their home to 50 foster children during their time in Minnesota. The dinner table was often set for more than 20. He taught the children the value of rural life, hard work and being self-sufficient.

In 1959, his father quit farming and he returned to Missouri. Harry rented the farm next to his father’s and had 1,000 acres of South Grand River bottomland.

They farmed the home place until 1972, when Truman Reservoir took much of their land. They sold out and returned to Minnesota to a 45-head dairy farm.

His son met Stacy and married. She wasn’t a farm girl but quickly learned how to care for 45 bucket calves. They farmed there until Harry’s wife died, then moved to Iowa. He worked until he was 81 as a night watchman for Spee-Dee Delivery Services before moving to Napoleon.

Keutzer’s farming practices and lifestyle evolved as times and technology changed. He keeps current with technology by following farm auctions and news online.

Just as he learned to incorporate new farming methods throughout his life, he has learned to adjust as a farming nonagenarian.

AgrAbility gives him the resources to continue doing what he loves to do-provide food to feed America.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency of USDA, administers the AgrAbility Project.

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Brighten up your home – Waterbury Republican American

Gorgeous Bull Skull by Aureus Arts

CHICAGO TRIBUNENo need to break out the crayons. Beat the winter grays with bright stuff for your home. Here are some products to get you started.

1. Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders’ cheeky designs make clashing colors harmonious. His Herringbone carpet for The Rug Company is a case in point. $129 per square foot at The Rug Company, Chicago.

2. Primary colors and simple organic shapes mark the chairs from the Swedish design trio Claesson Koivisto Rune for Tacchini. The Kelly E Chair is $2,300, at Orange Skin, Chicago.

3. The Lindona Necklace from Songa Designs, an eco-friendly accessories line made by women in Rwanda as a way to establish their economic independence. Each handmade piece is made of repurposed natural materials such as banana leaf fiber, sisal plant, and cow horn. $48 at songadesigns. com.

4. Improve your mood by upholstering Vitra’s Mariposa sofa in a bold hue. Pick from dozens of colors including poppy red, grass green, magenta and lemon, pictured. $7,520 at hivemodern.com.

5. Four shades in different hues give the Tam Tam suspension lamp by Design Fabien Dumas a colorful personality. $1,093 at hivemodern.com.

6. Give time the attention it deserves with a clock that steals the proverbial show. Normann Copenhagen’s Watch Me Wall Clock is $50 at normann-copenhagen.com

7. Studio Job’s paper lamp for Moooi is inspired by classic lamps but draws on a crafty material. $1,703.00 at moooi.com.

8. Warm up any seat in the room with Maharam’s Millerstripe Pillow with fabric designed by famed 20th-century industrial designer Alexander Girard. The 17-inch pillow is 92 percent wool and 8 percent nylon and sports a cotton insert with a duck feather fill. $175 at maharam.com.

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Mysterious Oregon cattle killings, mutilations alarm ranchers – OregonLive.com

When the first dead bull turned up at the end of July, it didn’t raise an alarm at the Silvies Valley Ranch.

Cattle sometimes die suddenly on the ranch’s 140,000 acres in Harney County — struck by disease or felled by a broken leg and unable to find a way out of the rugged, forested terrain.

But by the time ranch hands discovered four more dead bulls within 24 hours, they knew they were likely dealing with deliberate, premeditated killings.

They’re still baffled by the circumstances. There were no wounds. No signs of a struggle. And the bulls’ genitals and tongues had been carefully removed.

The killing and mutilation of the 4 and 5-year-old Hereford bulls in the prime of their productive lives has since spurred a multi-agency investigation in eastern Oregon, but detectives have turned up no leads and haven’t yet even settled on a cause of death.

“How somebody put these bulls on the ground at what would be arguably a fairly close range — and to do it in a way that didn’t leave any signs, no trace evidence, no footprints, no struggle marks from the animal, no broken limbs — I have no idea,” said Colby Marshall, vice president of the Silvies Valley Ranch.

The mystery deepens because there’s no obvious reason someone would want those animal parts. They aren’t prime targets for black market sales, authorities said.

The deaths are eerily similar to a rash of livestock killings and mutilations across the West in the 1970s, when hundreds of cows and bulls turned up dead, also of seemingly unknown causes and with their genitals and tongues missing.

Back then, theories ran the gamut from a government conspiracy and UFOs to natural deaths and scavengers. Today, the circumstances at Silvies Valley Ranch point to humans as the probable culprits because of the precise cuts on the bulls.

Anything else for now is speculation, including ideas of what might have killed a bull without leaving marks. Marshall said he wonders if the killer used poison darts.

“We think that these are very sick and dangerous individuals and they need to answer for this horrible crime,” he said.

***

Silvies Valley Ranch, about 40 minutes north of the county seat of Burns, has put up a $25,000 reward for information on the bull killings that leads to an arrest and conviction, and the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association has offered its own $1,000 reward.

The investigation has pulled in Oregon State Police as well as the U.S. Forest Service because the cattle were grazing on a federal allotment in the Malheur National Forest.

The ranch is owned by veterinarian Scott Campbell, who bought the enterprise in 2006. Since then, it’s expanded into tourism with a golf course and resort on site, but still maintains around 4,500 head of beef cattle, including around 100 bulls.

The five dead bulls were found on July 30 and 31, in a wooded area about 15 miles from U.S. 395, the nearest major road. They were each about a quarter mile apart, Marshall said. There is some official disagreement on when they were killed — the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, which saw only four of the bulls, puts the deaths at three to 14 days before discovery, but Marshall believes the cattle were discovered within 24 to 48 hours of their deaths.

The delay in finding the animals is not unusual in such a remote area, where ranchers are tasked with patrolling large tracts of land, said Jerome Rosa, executive director of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. Harney County is Oregon’s largest county, covering more than 10,000 square miles where cattle outnumber people 14-to-1.

“These are huge, vast, steep landscapes with lots of rock and trees and brush,” Rosa said. “Ranchers may not see their cattle for long stretches of time.”

Beef is Oregon’s largest agricultural commodity, drawing in nearly $1 billion a year – and most cattle crimes typically involve theft, Rosa said.

This makes the deaths at Silvies Valley Ranch particularly bizarre, he said, because the bulls were worth a lot of money alive, particularly for breeding.

Marshall estimated their value at up to $7,000 apiece and said they would have sired at least 100 calves each over the remainder of their lives.

“Their productive life was a huge economic opportunity for the ranch, and now that’s completely lost,” he said. “We’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

***

The five dead bulls were found on July 30 and 31, in a wooded area about 15 miles from U.S. 395, the nearest major road. Their genitals and tongues had been cleanly removed.

Silvies Valley Ranch

The five dead bulls were found on July 30 and 31, in a wooded area about 15 miles from U.S. 395, the nearest major road. Their genitals and tongues had been cleanly removed.

Marshall has heard from several other Oregon ranchers who reported similar killings on their property over the past few decades — including cows that had been found with their udders, vulvas and tongues removed.

One of these ranchers, Terry Anderson, found a dead cow on land he was renting near Pendleton in 1980. Its udder had been cleanly removed and Anderson could see no clear evidence of what had killed the animal.

“There was no visible bullet hole or anything there,” Anderson recalled this week. “It was so unusual. It just left you with an eerie feeling.”

The hundreds of cattle deaths in the 1970s — largely concentrated in the Midwest — caused a media sensation as ranchers roiled by an economic crisis blamed a government conspiracy, according to Michael Goleman, a history professor at Somerset Community College in Kentucky who researched the phenomenon.

Because the killings were scattered across different states, investigators reached no overarching conclusion on the cause of the deaths, but Goleman said some people believed the government was conducting weapons tests on the cattle.

Facing pressure from ranchers, the FBI opened an investigation in 1979 into the deaths of 15 cattle in New Mexico, ultimately concluding that there was no evidence of intentional mutilation by humans and the animals had likely died of natural causes.

Since then, scattered reports have made headlines, including the discovery of several mutilated cows in Kansas in 2016 and five cows in 1990 that had been killed and dissected on a farm in Washington. Goleman said conspiracy theorists have pinned the blame on everything from satanic cults to aliens.

But Silvies Valley Ranch isn’t placing its bets on paranormal activity, though Harney County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Jenkins said he’s gotten a few suggestions that Sasquatch may be responsible. He’s received around 20 calls from around the western U.S. since news about the deaths started spreading.

Jenkins, the lead investigator on the case, said the lack of physical evidence at the crime sites — no footprints, no tire or ATV tracks — means authorities are relying on witnesses to call in to the tip line and report any suspicious activity they might have seen in the area.

***

David Bohnert, a professor at Oregon State University who studies beef cattle, said two things typically kill livestock: poisoning from eating toxic plants and people.

In this case, poisoning is unlikely, given the number of bulls involved and the plants in the area, he said. Larkspur typically flowers earlier in the year, while hemlock, another deadly plant, grows only around rivers and streams — not the dry forests where the bulls were found.

Plus, the fact that all five cattle killed were bulls, Bohnert said, is statistically unlikely to occur in nature — they make up only about 4% to 6% of a herd.

That leaves human activity as the most likely cause, he said. Adding to the evidence is the surgical precision with which the genitals and tongues were removed. Scavengers would leave obvious signs of tearing with teeth, claws or beaks, he said.

Bohnert said he has heard rumors of bull testicles being considered an aphrodisiac, and both tongues and genitals can be eaten — the famous “Rocky Mountain Oysters” come to mind. But he could think of no reason why someone couldn’t just legally buy the animal parts.

Yet the human explanation comes with its own difficulties.

Taking down a 2,000-pound bull is no easy feat, and Marshall said there were no signs of a struggle — the bulls were all lying on their sides as if they had just fallen over and died.

He said he could only think that some kind of toxic dart might kill a bull from a distance. But he has no proof of it and may never find it. It’s not clear if a dart would leave a detectable imprint.

In the meantime, tissue samples taken from the carcasses are still being analyzed for toxins and no results are available yet, Marshall said. Even with the tests, the killings may remain an enigma. The bulls had been left to decompose for several days, making a toxicology screen difficult to do, he said.

Until a suspect is found, ranch employees are on high alert, particularly those who patrol vast areas alone on ATV or on horseback.

Rosa said the news had also concerned other ranchers — but that greater awareness could also lead to faster answers in the tight-knit ranching community.

“The neighbors and the folks that are in those areas know each other,” Rosa said. “And when there’s someone strange or different that’s out and about, they take notice of that, and they let each other know.”

— Diana Kruzman; dkruzman@oregonian.com; 503-221-5394; @DKruzman

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Company is growing steak without the cow – CNN

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: Copyright 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc.2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor’s and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices Copyright S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.

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Lawsuit Says Oregon Group Falsely Advertises Dairy Products – Claims Journal

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SALEM, Ore. — A class-action lawsuit claims that an Oregon creamery association falsely advertises the source of its milk, a report said.

The lawsuit was filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund against the Tillamook County Creamery Association in western Oregon, The Statesman Journal reported Monday.

The lawsuit by the California-based organization said most of the association’s milk comes from Threemile Canyon Farms in Boardman rather than from cows grazing on coastal family farms.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court lists four Oregon consumers from various parts of the state as plaintiffs and seeks an injunction against misleading advertising, and monetary relief.

The association’s dairy products are “made from milk from the largest industrial dairy in the country that confines tens of thousands of cows on concrete in the desert of eastern Oregon,” the complaint said.

“The Tillamook County Creamery Association adamantly disagrees with the allegations made in the lawsuit and we will aggressively defend ourselves,” said Tori Harms, corporate communications director.

The association is owned by about 80 families, Harms said.

Much of the association’s milk has come from at least five dairies near Boardman, 163 miles (262 kilometers) east of Portland.

The three largest dairies are owned by Threemile, which has 70,000 animals. Also known as Columbia River Dairy, Threemile has a 145-square-mile (376-square-kilometer) farming operation where manure from the cows is used as fertilizer, the newspaper reported.

The plaintiffs purchased Tillamook products believing they were sourced from pasture-based farms in Tillamook County and were willing to pay more based on the company’s advertising, the lawsuit said.

Information from the Salem Statesman-Journal.

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Wisconsin firefighters rescued a cow from a swimming pool (and there's a photo to prove it) – Appleton Post Crescent

A cow in a swimming pool. You don’t see that every day. 

The Ettrick Fire Department had such an honor Tuesday. The Madison-based CBS affiliate WISC-TV Channel 3000 reported the volunteer department was called to rescue the bathing bovine in the village of Ettrick. 

Ettrick is home to about 500 people and is about 40 miles north of La Crosse. 

The photo, as you might have guessed, has been a hit on Facebook. A post from WKBT News8000 has more than 2,500 shares since yesterday. And you bet there are wisecracks in the comments.

For those concerned, there was a happy ending to the ordeal. The cow was safely removed from the pool.

Contact Shane Nyman at 920-996-7223 or snyman@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @shanenyman.

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Must-see: Cow rescued after taking unexpected dip in Wisconsin swimming pool – FOX13 Memphis



ETTRICK, Wis.

Maybe she just wanted a break from the summer heat?

>> Read more trending news

According to WKBT, firefighters in Ettrick, Wisconsin, came to the rescue Tuesday when a cow unexpectedly took a dip in a swimming pool off Whalen Road.

In a Facebook post, the news station shared a photo of the black-and-white cow standing in the water as firefighters look on.

“A ‘Mool’? No, that’s udderly ridiculous, it’s a pool with a cow in it!” WKBT captioned the photo, which has been shared more than 1,800 times. 

>> See the post here

A ‘Mool’? No, that’s udderly ridiculous, it’s a pool with a cow in it! The Ettrick Fire Department responded to a cow in a pool on Whalen Road today. The cow was safely returned home.

Posted by WKBT News8000 on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The station didn’t offer further details about how rescuers were able to moo-ve the bovine, which “was safely returned home,” the post said.

The Ettrick Fire Department seemed to take it all in stride.

“Well, we made the news I guess, lol,” the department responded in its own post, adding, “At least we got her out safe.”

>> See the post here

Well we made the news I guess lol, at least we got her out safe

Posted by Ettrick Fire Department on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

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Improving cow comfort does not have to be expensive – Hoard's Dairyman

It has been said that you cannot manage what you cannot measure. To many, cow comfort is not something that is easy to evaluate. However, there are audits and scoring programs to help producers gauge their current facilities and determine where changes can be made.

Lindsay Ferlito, Cornell Cooperative Extension, works with producers to help them understand how their facility ranks for cow comfort. She presented “Monitoring and improving cow comfort in freestalls and tie stalls”as the August Hoard’s Dairyman webinar.

A common condition known as “barn blindness” occurs when an owner or employee is used to seeing the operation daily and does not notice when housing situations (or other items) have deteriorated. But, a fresh set of eyes from a third-party auditor can bring items to the attention of management that they may have overlooked.

Ferlito and her colleagues assessed cow comfort in freestall and tie stall barns. Items they monitored included lameness, injuries, lying time, stocking density, milk production, and overall health. The purpose of these evaluations was to determine cow comfort. Or, as Ferlito asked, “What is the cow telling us about their surroundings?”

Their research showed that herds that underwent an audit and received feedback then took the suggestions and made improvements. So, the audit was beneficial to the farm and ultimately the cows. Additionally, consumers want the confidence that the dairy products they are purchasing were produced under good animal handling practices.

What factors were included in these evaluations? Cows were scored for hygiene and body condition scoring (BCS), as well as hock, knee, and neck abrasions. From these scores, improvements can be made in stall design, headlock (or neck rail) position, bedding, and feed management.

When scores for cow comfort are positive, the herd is more profitable. Ferlito reminded listeners that not all changes in cow comfort have to include a huge financial output, like building a new barn, but subtle changes can make an impact. For example, on the farms they studied, increasing the amount of bedding in the stalls improved resting time, which in turn drove production upward.

Producers made favorable comments when they have had their herd evaluated. They appreciated an unbiased opinion and used the information to make improvements. In one instance, the evaluator provided insight that helped the producer identify lameness issues sooner, therefore minimizing the loss in production and stress to the cow.

Suggestions for stall width, length, and bedding surfaces are provided in the webinar. Surprisingly, few herds in Ferlito’s study had the desired dimensions.

Ferlito provided five case studies, looking at both freestall and tie stall facilities. To learn more about the specifics of the studies, you can watch the webinar.

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To view more of our 100-plus webinars, visit www.hoards.com/archives.


Adam Lock

Join us next month

Adam Lock, Michigan State University, will present “Incorporating supplemental fatty acids in dairy rations” on Monday, September 9, at noon (Central time).

Dairy cows at different stages of lactation respond differently to combinations of supplemental fatty acids. Lock will discuss how this knowledge can effectively be applied to the feeding and management of high producing cows.


Patti Hurtgen

The author is the online media manager and is responsible for the website, webinars, and social media. A graduate of Modesto Junior College and Fresno State, she was raised on a California dairy and frequently blogs on youth programs and consumer issues.

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At this upstate New York farm you can cuddle a therapy cow for $75 an hour – CNBC

The therapist will see you now — in the barn. 

At Mountain Horse Farm, a 33-acre bed-and-breakfast in upstate New York, visitors can brush, pet, play and snuggle with therapy cows during hour-long “cow cuddling” sessions priced at $75 per couple. A trained equine therapist and and a farm employee join each therapy session. No prior experience with animals is necessary and participants are simply asked to sign a waiver and wear closed-toe shoes.

Suzanne Vullers, who co-owns the farm with her husband, tells CNBC Make It that while visitors range in age from 12 to 75, sessions with the cows are especially popular among millennials.

“The younger generation lives and has grown up in a technology-filled world where lots of interactions are via a screen,” Vullers says. “It’s easy to get disconnected from nature and animals, but we need those things to stay healthy and happy. Spending time on our farm where it’s beautiful and quiet and where you can connect with soulful horses and cows can help [with] restoring that connection with the natural world.”

Photo courtesy of Mountain Horse Farm

The farm’s Horse & Cow Experience also offers wellness sessions with miniature horses for people suffering from stress, anxiety, grief and loss. While horses tend to stand, the farm’s two Scottish Highlander cross-bred cows, Bonnie and Bella, often lie down in the grass – and visitors are encouraged to join them.

Animal-based therapy overall continues to be an overwhelming wellness and mental health trend with businesses catering to goat yoga and emotional support animals extending beyond just the usual dog to ducks and alligators.

According to a 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Health Center for Health Statistics, almost 60% of hospice care providers who offer complementary and alternative therapies suggested pet therapy to patients. That year, the National Service Animal Registry had 2,400 service and emotional support animals in its records. Today there are about 200,000 registered service and emotional support animals, The New York Times reported in June.

Human-animal interaction is known to lower stress and boost social skills, and science backs the benefits of specifically cuddling cows. Similar to meditation, hugging a cow can slow your heart rate and lower anxiety. According to NPR, “the body temperature of a cow is higher than humans’, and their heart rate lower, so cuddling up with one is relaxing.”

For those at Mountain Horse Farm, cow cuddling can be just what one needs to feel a bit more at ease. “It may bring relaxation, reduce anxiety, help you find answers to life questions and simply make you happy,” Vullers says.

The farm’s Horse & Cow Experience sessions are offered May 1st through October 31st.

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Don’t miss: This woman’s goat yoga business is bringing in 6 figures

Photo courtesy of Mountain Horse Farm

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