5 Reasons Cows Appreciate Pasture

by Joshua Fairfield

July 9, 2019

by Joshua Fairfield

We appreciate cows. We care for them, and they care for us with quality, delicious milk.

You know what cows appreciate? Pasture. And lots of it.

Today might be Cow Appreciation Day, but our cows are out in the pasture appreciating fresh grass and fresh air. Take a moment to drink some milk and appreciate the cows while you read about five reasons cows on Organic Valley family farms love pasture.

Number 5: Social Networking

Cows don’t have social media (except when we post for them), but they do have a chance to network with their fellow cows when they are out on pasture. In fact, many of them go out to gossip about other cows and about how plump the farmer is getting with all that cheese. Cows appreciate the chance to be with one another in the open air, so much so that they spend hours just chewing their cud together.

One cow eats closely next to two other cows on fresh grass.

Cows outside eating fresh grass together. The social pasture.

Number 4: Freedom

These are American cows in the best way possible. Cows love pasture because it gives them the freedom to walk around and be outside when the weather is nice. Some cows take more steps than office workers who sit at their computers and write about cows appreciating pasture.

Number 3: The Grass Lounge

No, not a hip new nightclub in Soho—although it could be. You will catch cows lying out on the pasture for hours in the day, and for a variety of reasons. We could bore you with how symbiotic a regenerative pasture is with the cow that grazes on it, but instead, we will just show you. These are cows loving the natural cushion grass provides for their heavy bodies. It might even be better than an Avocado mattress (but we have to say we do love those mattresses—they should make a cow-size one we can test our pastures against).

Some cows browse pasture while others take a rest.

Grass-fed cows get fresh pasture to roam and relax on. These cows are waiting for their farmer to let them into fresh pasture.

Number 2: So Fresh and So Clean

Cooped up cows often get really dirty and ammonia smells can be strong, but the fresh air and cleaner pasture is a great remedy! We believe that fresh air and pasture make for healthier, happier cows, but sometimes sun and heat can be a bit much for the comfort of a cow, whose four stomachs act like an internal space heater. So many of our farmers roll out big shade umbrellas or water-misters to keep the cows not only fresh and clean, but cool in the summer breeze, too!

A group of Jersey cows walking on a pasture with trees and hills in the background.

Number 1: Salad Bar!!!

Many Organic Valley farms are in Wisconsin and Wisconsinites love a salad bar (and an old fashioned) at the local supper club. The only ones who love a salad bar more are cows! The excitement cows have when being let into a fresh area of pasture—the ultimate salad bar—is easy to see. (Who knew 1,000-pound cows could kick up their heels like that?!) A diet of fresh forages also makes cows healthier, giving them a better balance of omega-3 fatty acids, and that benefit shows up in the milk we drink! It’s science.

Cows on a Wisconsin farm munching on grass in a sunny green pasture.

These cows on the Gretebeck farm in Wisconsin are munching down on their own salad bar.

Although it may be Cow Appreciation Day, we think it should also be Cows Appreciate Pasture Day. Pasture and cows: they just go together.