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Regina with her favorite cow, Shania.

Deciding what to name our cows is a source of serious household conversation every year.  When we began farming fifteen years ago we decided that each year we would choose a unique category for naming our calves and that each calf’s name would start with the first letter of her mother’s name.  This allows us to track who each calf’s season mates are as well as their mothers.  Our first years the cows had names of flowers, birds, Vermont towns and singers.  As our daughter grew she had strong opinions and the next generations’ names reflected her tastes as cartoon figures, desserts and Harry Potter characters.  Naming our cows is the first part of appreciating their individuality and the variety of personalities that make working with animals so interesting.  There’s pleasure in looking down the line at Daphne eating beside Randolph , Sirius staring at us suspiciously and Shania squinting and chewing her cud.  This year’s category, celebrities with questionable reputations, is sure to give us some smiles as we get to know another generation of calves whose personalities enrich our lives.