What Makes a Fluffy Cow Fluffy?

Have you ever wondered what makes a Fluffy Cow Fluffy? Most fluffy cows are bred to have lots of hair but the hair isn’t so fluffy without the required work.


This is what a fluffy cow looks like before it is all clean. This is my Crossbred (he has both Chianina and Maine influence) Market Steer named Lautner. He weighs 1,300 lbs. I plan to exhibit him at the end of October at the Kansas City Royal Livestock Show, in Kansas City, MO. Follow these steps to see how Lautner transforms into a clean fluffy cow.

Step One: is to blow the dirt out of Lautner’s coat. A blower is a tool like a blow dryer it blows air to through the long hose. First picture is what a blower looks like. This takes less than five minutes.

Step Two: Grab the garden hose and start rinsing Lautner by putting water on his coat. This takes 20-25 minutes, because you want to get his entire coat really wet.


Step Three: Take the Gain Dish Soap turn it upside down and disperse it all over his coat. This is called “soaping”. This takes five minutes.

Step Four: Take the scrub brush (first picture) a plastic brush with a handle and bristles used to scrub the coat and get all the dirt out. This also helps deep condition Lauter’s coat. This takes 5-10 minutes; I am making sure I get all the soap “scrubbed in” all over Lautner’s coat.

Step Five: Rinse the calf with the garden hose, making sure all the soap bubbles come out. This takes 10-15 minutes (this step is repeated from step two)

Step Six: I use the scotch comb and brush Lautner’s hair. Lautner’s hair is still wet. This step takes 5 minutes.

Step Seven: Blow the calf out with the blower; the blower was used in the first step. This step is very important. This is how Lautner’s hair dries and becomes fluffy. This could take a while, generally takes 30-40 minutes until he is completely dry.


Step Eight: I apply conditioner out of the spray bottle and brush it in with a human hairbrush.

After all these steps Lautner looks like this. He is very clean and his hair is soft.



Haley Ehrke bio

New Arrivals

Rancher holding calfFebruary and March may seem like a cold and gloomy time of the year in Nebraska, but for many farmers and ranchers it’s a time of excitement, little sleep and extra care to welcome the new arrivals on their farm – calves.

Across the country there are two distinct seasons in which the majority of calves will be born. Farmers and ranchers signify them as fall and spring – even though calves can be born any day of the year. For many farmers across the country, the spring calving season is beginning, and we’ll be seeing many new calves in pastures and fields in the next few months.

After awaiting the arrival of the calves for nine months, farmers and ranchers spend extra time checking their cows when calving season arrives. Farmers often check on them multiple times throughout the night and some even set up cameras to watch the cows 24/7.

Much like a nurse, farmers and ranchers are on call to assist their mother cows in giving birth when complications arise. Farmers must take extra care with heifers, female cows that have not given birth before. Also, once the calf has arrived, farmers and ranchers sometimes need to play the role of lactation therapist to teach the calves how to eat and the cows how to nurse to insure calves get a healthy start and have enough to eat.

Occasionally, mother cows are not able to produce enough milk or are lost in the birthing process. If this occurs, farmers and ranchers bottle feed calves until they are able to eat grain and hay.

Despite the extra time and care required during calving season, farmers and ranchers know that the calves they help welcome into the world are worth the late nights and early mornings.

Learn more about Nebraska’s farmers here.


–Kassi Williams is a proud farmer’s daughter growing up on a cow/calf and grain farm in Iowa. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University, majoring in both animal science and public relations. She has been involved with agriculture from birth, working in multiple facets of the industry including the USDA and Extension. Kassi relocated to Nebraska in 2010 to work for a marketing communications agency for a multitude of agriculture clients.

Life Happens – Learn to Bounce

Despite what you do for a living, who your friends and family are or where you live – life will present you challenges. While moms are often a sounding board for all of their family members’ life challenges, how moms handle these challenges is what often defines the direction of family life.

As a city-born kid turned farmer’s wife and mom, Susie Oberdahlhoff (O for short) uses her life lessons as a farm wife, mother and preachers daughter to bring a unique sense of humor to everyday experiences and brings a positive outlook to life. Susie O has traveled around the country from her home in Missouri to bring this message to mothers, business people and organizations.

“Life isn’t about how fast you run or how high you jump; but how well you bounce!” – Susie O

Recently, Susie came to Nebraska and gave her program, Kids, Crops, Sows & Cows; Life Happens – Learn to Bounce. The presentation showcases her 4 P’s of Prosperity in an upbeat manner that matches her life motto: if you rest, you rot!

4 P’s of Prosperity –

Be Proud of what you do
Be Positive about life
Be Patient – Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Be Persistent – Keep trying and trying and trying


See a portion of Susie’s presentation here – http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IRAyLGoo-yY


–Kassi Williams is a proud farmer’s daughter growing up on a cow/calf and grain farm in Iowa. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University, majoring in both animal science and public relations. She has been involved with agriculture from birth, working in multiple facets of the industry including the USDA and Extension. Kassi relocated to Nebraska in 2012 to work for a marketing communications agency for a multitude of agriculture clients.

Get To Know Your Nebraska Farm and Rancher: Tim Scheer

With glaring issues like the rising price of commodities, increasing land prices and the threat of anti-animal agriculture groups, it’s hard to believe farmers and ranchers are succeeding today. But, Nebraska farmers and ranchers, like Tim Scheer of St. Paul, Neb., are doing just that. Scheer runs a small, diverse operation outside of St. Paul with his wife Amy and their three children.

Kelsey, Tim, Nathan, Amy and Krista Scheer

Along with raising crops, they run cow-calf pairs and background calves. He’s also a crop insurance adjuster. Scheer grew up on the farm and always had a passion for agriculture. “I see the importance of what agriculture is to our society, to our world and to feeding the world’s population,” Scheer said.

In the past, Scheer has been the president of his local County Farm Bureau in Howard County and currently serves on the Nebraska Farm Bureau State Legislative Policy Committee (SLPC). Members of SLPC do not have voting rights in Nebraska Farm Bureau and volunteer their time to be better informed about why each resolution has been proposed. Taking into consideration the discussions which occurred, the committee subsequently drafts formal policy recommendations, which are submitted to the House of Delegates for its approval at the state annual meeting in December. He’s been involved with various aspects of other committees throughout the years and currently serves as the chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board.

When asked what Nebraska Farm Bureau does for him, Scheer said “Farm Bureau represents us at a state and national level on issues concerning my farm and other operations across the state. On the county level, it’s provided me a great opportunity to network with other county members and talk about issues that affect all of us.”

He also described the importance of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s work on issues affecting agriculture and how they give farmers and ranchers a broader view of what’s going on.

Scheer discussed some of the issues that are affecting not only his area, but agriculture in general. He says it will be interesting to see what happens with the rapid increase of commodity and land prices as well as regulations, both farm and non-farm, in the future. On the state level, the threat of the Humane Society of the United States could be a big issue in upcoming years.

To deal with those issues, Scheer said involvement with organizations like Nebraska Farm Bureau, the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association is key. When it comes to the increase in commodity and land prices, being conservative and taking a long-term look at things can help.

Scheer’s said his favorite part of agriculture is: “I enjoy the livestock the most out of anything. Anything with cows and calving…it’s fulfilling.”

Continue to check back to the blog each Thursday to get to know more farmers and ranchers from across Nebraska as they share their everyday stories. And to read past farmer and rancher profiles, click here.

Learn more about ag families in Nebraska by visiting www.nefb.org. And while there, be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.