Rednex Ranch Blog

You Must Look At Cows Differently ?
December 7, 2015

“You must look at cows differently?” I heard this question for the first time a few years ago, from another Hereford breeder. At the time I laughed and replied, “I don’t think so. When I’m at a sale, everyone wants the same ones I do.”

More recently, I have heard the comment repeated and it caused me to reflect that I do see cows in a different light, and it depends whether I’m using my rancher eyes or artist eyes.

A walk out to the pasture can reveal many things. The rancher sees the cow with the nice udder and growthy calf that reflects her milk quality. The artist sees that cow licking her calf and is mentally choosing the best composition for that picture. The rancher sees a thick hair coat designed to withstand the Alberta climate, while the artist sees soft texture, highlights and shadows, and  a multitude of colors. The rancher sees the older cow that may only be productive in the herd for another year or two. The artist sees that same cow and the depth of wisdom in her eyes – the granma cow who looks after everybody.

When I’m the rancher, I may be thinking of adjectives like deep-sided, square topped, structurally correct; while the artist thinks in terms of texture, color and light, composition and personality. The next time you see me viewing cattle, ask me what I see – and you may be surprised by the answer.