Chemung Co. FB Welcomes Maggie the Milking Cow
By Lindsay Wickham
NYFB Field Advisor
Perhaps the most exciting news of this new year, besides the relief of many of the COVID restrictions, is the purchase of Maggie the Milking Cow by the Chemung County Ag Promotions Committee (CCAPC). CCAPC is a joint effort of the County Farm Bureau, Soil and Water Conservation District, Cooperative Extension, the Ag Society and the Farmers Museum that routinely sets up booths and displays at over 2 dozen events throughout the year.
Maggie is not your average milking cow, weighing in at a firm 200 pounds empty, measuring a lengthy 90 inches long, 31 inches wide and 64 inches high. She is a beautiful black and white Holstein that would score well by any dairy judge’s criteria. She can be milked 24/7/365, with maybe a little down time for maintenance. I think even Doc Galton would be proud.
As you can see and would have guessed, Maggie is a fiberglass cow that will bring a new flair and some fun to the many exhibits and their attendees, especially the kids. She is made by a company out of Buffalo, Minnesota called Fiberstock, Inc. who sells these across the country and in Canada. Maggie can currently be found in such laces as the Arizona, Indiana and Michigan State Fairs, and many other county fairs, nature centers, petting zoos, pumpkin farms, etc. from Connecticut to Oregon, Canada to Arizona.
According to Nikole Watts, who serves on the county Farm Bureau Board, works for Soil and Water, and coordinates ag education through the county (and spoke to over 5,000 children last year), animals are and have always been the key to attracting people to your displays and exhibits and are a fan favorite. When able and allowed, they will often have a real-life calf at these events. It really attracts the families and kids, as in droves. This really adds to getting the ag education message out to the public.
With the addition of Maggie, who literally can be milked continuously with just 2 gallons of water and a 110-volt outlet, any static exhibit or display is instantly transformed into a hands-on event that is fun for everyone. A trailer that they had been using was customized to be able to move Maggie to and from events. Nikole and the committee are stoked about the possibilities.
How to pay the almost $6,000 for Maggie and to get her here turned out to be not much of a challenge, as area groups and local farms stepped up in a big way. The bulk of the money came from the Ag Promotions Committee, Chemung County Farm Bureau, Schuyler and Chemung County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and Bergen Farms. That got them over half, and then the generosity flowed in from the countryside. Schuyler County Farm Bureau, Egerton Farms, Lloyds Farm, Peggy Clarke (former dairy farmer), Gates Farm, Watts Farm, Sco-Li Farm, Busholm Farm, Judson’s Feed Mill (in PA), Stowe’s Hill Vale Farm, Ettenberger Farm, and Terwilliger’s Farm all stepped for the balance.
Chemung County takes their ag education very seriously, with the great work and commitment by the Ag Promotions Committee. It doesn’t hurt that county government contributes generously to the cause with dollars and in-kind services for the total commitment package. Maggie will be a great addition to keep that commitment and excitement fresh and on-going. There is no doubt that over the next many years, many kids and adults alike in Chemung, Schuyler and surrounding counties will share an experience and a photo or 2 with Maggie the Milking Cow.