Cow-milking: udderly foreign territory


Thursday, September 4th 2008, 3:51 pm
By: News 9


By News9 Meteorologist Carrie Rose.

"So Carrie, you wanna join our cow-milking team this Friday at the Cleveland County Fair?" asked Doug Warner in an innocent and, what I'm sure he hoped was, enticing manner.

Pause...."Excuse me?" I spluttered hesitantly.

"Yeah, cow-milking!" Doug went on enthusiastically, latching onto my silence as the opportunity he needed to make his sales pitch.  "It's teams of four, and we have to see how much milk we can get into the pail in a minute.  We did it last year...came in next to last, but hey, that's something!"

I'm sure by now my astonishment was obvious, but I also couldn't hide that the competition piqued my interest.

"Will someone teach me how to milk a cow properly so I don't injure it or something?" I pressed.

"Oh yeah, sure sure, we'll show you."  Doug was literally bouncing on the balls of his feet with pleasure.  No doubt because he was desperate for a fourth person on the team after one broke a wrist. 

Okay, so I come from a long line of farmers on both sides of my family.  My mom's grandfather had peach orchards in south Georgia, and my dad's dad had peanuts.  Dada was elated, to say the least, when I told him I was participating in a cow-milking competition this week. 

"Carrie, you need to practice!  Fill up some surgical gloves with water, then prick little holes in the fingertips.  Practice alternating hands as you pull and squeeze at the same time.  Don't forget to pull AND squeeze at the same time, and don't go too fast."  Dada gushed for at least five minutes straight about proper technique. 

I smiled as I listened to my dad's expertise resurfacing after many years on that skill shelf.  Dada grew up on a farm in Virginia, and I've seen pictures of him as a boy running around barefoot in overalls without a shirt doing various chores. 

Me, on the other hand, I ran around in patent, buckled shoes with lacy socks to match my lacy, fancy dresses in bright colors.  I looked like Scarlett O'Hara in miniature, big skirt and all.  Needless to say, I did not have the opportunity to experience farm chores like milking a cow.

So yes, I'm really excited about this competition!  No, I haven't figured out my technique yet.  Send your suggestions to me, though!  I'm worried about upsetting the cow and getting kicked...and making an udder fool of myself.  Ha, get it?  Udder...

Come out to the Cleveland County Fair Friday night, and the competition is around 7:30 p.m. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE AFTER COMPETITION:

The "Moos 9" team won the trophie for "Least Milk."  Appropriately, we collectively milked 9 oz.  But what fun we had!  Thanks to y'all who came out to watch the competition!