By Deb Cripps
The judges agree. Her legs score 96 points out of a hundred, and her exceptional rump deserves a 97. With an impressive 94 for mammary, she’s an absolute shoe-in!
No, this isn’t the Miss Canada contest. It is the conformation analysis earned by Inksou – a 12-year-old Holstein Inksou and the beauty that won the Royal Winter Fair http://royalfair.org/ twice and was the highest-classified cow in Canada.
Inksou was retired auctioneer and dairy farmer David Crack’s prize cow and an animal he will never forget. The sign in the entrance way to David’s home in Richmond, Quebec welcomes you with a credo he has embraced: Live well, laugh often, love much.
David has travelled extensively as a cow breeder and auctioneer, and although retired, he’s still a fast talker with an expressive face, big laugh and dancing eyebrows. You can imagine him on a stage working an anxious crowd of bidders. In a world where one animal can command hundreds of thousands of dollars, a skilled auctioneer like David plays a critical role. The most expensive animal David has ever auctioned off fetched an astounding $500,000.
He describes auctioneering like performance art. “You have to bring folks into what you are doing. You have to make it exciting and work at getting people involved. It’s about creating action.”
During Inksou’s lifetime her genetic heritage was carefully managed. With documentation going back through five generations of pedigree cows, and with her offspring worth $25,000 each, she was the kind of prize cow breeders aim for.
It was a joy hanging out on the farm with one of Canada’s fine dairy farmers http://www.dairyfarmers.ca/ . I’ve been in many milking barns, but I doubt I will ever see another so pristine, or meet a farmer who loved his cows like he did.
During our photo shoot, I watched him with Inksou as he beamed with pride and stroked her with heartfelt emotion. At the end our interview he summed up his life work in a few simple but poignant words. “Animal welfare is the number one priority here. On our farm, the cows come first.”