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Celebrating Cows One Day at a Time!

Katie Reichling

Hungry calf

 

 

 

 

 

Agricultural enthusiast. Cow lover. Advocate… This is me!

 

Back where it all began…

40's barn

This picture was taken in the 1940’s… before my dad was even a twinkle in my grandpa’s eyes. In 1982 I came into the world but I will be honest, agriculture wasn’t my cup of tea. Mom asked if I wanted to be in 4-H. I said no. I wanted to be in dance. I would walk scared down the barn trying to be like a fly on the wall, afraid the cows would try to kick me. Needless to say although I grew up on a farm and enjoyed country life, dairying just didn’t interest me.

But that all changed in 1995 when I stepped off the bus and came home to this…

barn fire

 

 

 

 

I remember sitting on the porch and crying, a flood of emotions had come over me. I did not even knowing what I was crying about. I suddenly realized that I had taken a part of me for granted- how much agriculture meant to me. God had a plan for me even though I had chosen dance! I was only 13 but had found my calling and had a new passion in life- cows! The bovine (the scientific name for cows) was and still is my favorite mammal.

My Life Today

Agriculture is an integral part of my life that I am proud to support. In the morning you will find me up most days before the sun rises at the dairy farm I work at in southwest Wisconsin. Here I am a herd manager where I manage the health and well-being of about 220 ladies. Ladies you ask? Girls, ladies, bossies, fembots- Yep, these are words I use interchangeably for cows.

Next I venture to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where I work in the School of Agriculture as a recruiter. Our agriculture program has about 800 students in it. Depending on which the part of the year, I also teach tap, jazz, and ballet class. All those years of dance lessons and itchy costumes where worth it after all! This fall I am also teaching 2 sections of Intro to College Life at UW-Platteville.

Nights and weekends are full of FFA meetings, Farm Bureau meetings, advising organizations, and homework! After ending a 7 1/2 year relationship with my boyfriend in 2012 I decided it was time for a change and so back to school I went. I call it one of the best, worst things that ever happened to me. A year prior to that the farm I grew up on was also sold. I call that time in my life my quarter-life crisis! December brings exciting plans as I hope to graduate with my Master’s degree in Agricultural Extension Education through Colorado State University.

library june dairy month
Story time at the library

 

 

I have also been lucky enough to find a partner in crime who enjoys dairying just as me. Our conversations usually focus around life on the farm. We talk cows. For June Dairy month we read at the local library and passed out string cheese and objects we use everyday on the farm. These included an ear tag, aspirin, cow teeth (it’s quite common for them to loose teeth), and a picture from when my dad was younger with a calf born with two heads. They found this very interesting!

My Goal For You

Everyone is impacted by agriculture. I want to share my love of cows and how I care for them.  No question is a stupid question. You never know unless you ask. As a herd manager, animal welfare is extremely important to me and consumers deserve to know where their food comes from. I strive to share my story to the public and communicate agriculture in a language we all understand.

On a lighter note, life is meant to be enjoyed! And in working on a farm funny things happen… except when the cows get out that is! Cows are funny! They all have their own personalities just like we do. Perhaps they are laughing about how bad my hair looks in the morning when they see me but I will never know it….


 My ladies thank you for reading!

 

 

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