I have always had a long standing fear of cows. I mean why wouldn’t you really? They weigh a TON, they defecate constantly and unpredictably, and who knows when they’re going to decide they want to chase you through an open pasture with no place to hide! As a youngster I was chased by an angry cow in the mountains of Germany, just barely escaping with my life. And again in Wyoming while exploring the mountains and cliffs near my college town of Laramie. After these two harrowing experiences I presumed that cows had it out for me.
In all seriousness though, I’m terrified of cows.
After working with New Sky Productions, however, my deep rooted fear of bovine has definitely become more manageable. While exploring a photography project dealing with small farms in the Seattle area I stumbled upon Kurt Timmermeister, a cheesemaker on Vashon Island. After photographing his farm I began working on a small video piece about him and his delicious cheese. This meant that I would have to get over my fear of cows, at least for the time being, and also eat a lot of his delicious cheese during the course of the day. It turns out that his beautiful Jersey Cows, even though some of them had horns, did not in fact want to chase me through the pastures. They even seemed to be elegant compared to the devilish bovine that my nightmares were made of.
To stick with the theme, I partnered with WSU sponsored by a grant from the USDA last year to work on several videos having to do with heat management in animal agriculture. Of course, this mostly had to do with cows. So with some experience under my belt I packed up the car with a lot of expensive equipment I hoped would be coming back in one piece and relatively free of cow crap. As it turns out, these cows didn’t have it out for me either! It was a great shoot in 100 degree heat in Sunnyside, Washington. I’ll be heading back out to Sunnyside for a couple of days next month to work on several more videos for Washington State University and to say hello to my beloved bovine friends.