RANDOLPH CENTER, Vt. (WCAX) Is there such a thing as a happy cow? And if so, how would you know? Some kids in Randolph Center found out the answer Friday while celebrating agriculture and their relationship to the farm.
They seem happy enough-- 65 Holsteins in their outside pen at the Silloway Farm in Randolph Center. The cows spend a couple of hours a day penned up here during the winter months.
But this is what happiness really looks like. This was cow day at the farm when the dairy herd is let out to pasture for the first time since November. The animals run and literally leap for joy as area elementary school kids watch nearby. The cows immediately start munching the rain-soaked grass.
"The sense of joy you got from the cows finally getting out, even though it's on a rainy day, so they can go out and have their fresh grass. It's great," said Zain Abadi of Randolph Elementary.
"It looked like they really wanted to be out there, like they had been waiting for it all day," said Alexis Forest, a fourth-grader.
Inside the barn, third- and fourth-graders from Randolph Elementary sing a jingle to celebrate the gift of grazing. This is the farm's 21 annual cow day.
"We want to teach these young kids that dairy is good, that farming is important and this is just so deeply rooted here in Vermont," said Bethany Silloway of Silloway Farms.
About two-thirds of all Vermont schools, including Randolph, take part in the state's farm-to-school program. Beef from this farm fills the kids' bellies all year long.
"Instead of having this anonymous food source, they actually know where some of this food is grown that is available in the state, and also that they start to value that food instead of taking it for granted," said Abbie Nelson of the Northeast Organic Farming Association.
"I mean, you what it's coming from, you know where it is coming from, you know how it is made kind of," Forest said.
"It's just interesting to see farm life and how the cows behave," Abadi said.
While the party continues inside, the cows quietly roam the Vermont countryside.
So, back to the original question.
Reporter Adam Sullivan: It's fair to say that there is such a thing as a happy cow?
Bethany Silloway: Yes, definitely happy cows on cow day.
Cows kicking the winter blues with the kids' full support.