Cow on the Oval an “udder” delight for students
Students traversing campus at The Ohio State University had a chance to get up close and personal with a cow Thursday morning.
The Buckeye Dairy Club runs the annual Milk-a-Cow on the Oval event. The club is a student organization supported by the Department of Animal Sciences enabling students to network and learn about the dairy industry.
Carmen, a Jersey cow from Waterman Dairy Farm, was out near Bricker Hall with members of the club to meet students, faculty and staff. People were able to milk the cow, learn about dairy production and pose for selfies.
“Every year we bring a cow out on the Oval to get main campus students in touch with their agricultural side,” said Lexie Nunes, president of the Buckeye Dairy Club. “It’s not an everyday thing that they get to see or milk a cow. We like to make that connection between the [agricultural] campus and main campus students and talk about the dairy industry a little bit and teach them a little bit about what we do in Buckeye Dairy Club.”
While the event is entertaining by its very nature, Nunes said it serves an important purpose.
“A lot of people are concerned about where their food is coming from and are concerned about how animals are raised. So we’re here to spread the word that everything we’re doing is humane and we are doing our best to raise our animals happy and healthy and provide a wholesome product for consumers,” she said.
Rose Tyler, a second-year student majoring in psychology and French, was excited to try milking a cow for the first time.
“It was a cool experience. I’m really glad I got to try it kind of just impromptu like this,” she said. “It was easier than I expected. I thought that there would be more instruction to it and it’d be a little more complicated. But it’s pretty simple and self-explanatory.”
Nunes, a senior majoring in agricultural communication, said it’s important to dispel misconceptions about how cattle are cared for at Ohio State. While Carmen is in a protective chute for the time she is on the Oval, that’s not the norm.
“Normally, she’s in a nice, soft, bedded barn. She has access to food and water all day long,” she said. “She’ll be in a nice temperature-regulated barn with fans or curtains if it’s too cold. She’s normally relaxing and enjoying her day.”
The annual event is entertaining for visitors as well.
“We love checking our social media after the event because everybody loves taking selfies with Carmen and posting their experience on social media,” Nunes said. “So it’s really exciting to see the positive feedback that we get from it.”