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September 15, 2012

We'll never hear the end of our bovine blunder

If cows could laugh, they surely would be bellowing now.

Some beef cows wrangled their way into a photograph to illustrate a Page 1 story Thursday about local dairy farming and the growing demand for milk from the producers of Greek-style yogurt.

You, our dedicated Daily Star readers, let us know those brown cows pictured weren’t milkers.

The newsroom staff received multiple calls about the mistake. A simple clarification doesn’t seem to mitigate the error, which prompted raised eyebrows in the newsroom and chatter.

One editor said with a straight face he didn’t know the difference between beef and dairy cows, then made a joke about the “udderly” unbelievable situation. The futility of crying over spilled milk was apparent. Another editor said there was “plenty of blame to go around.”

The owner of the property where the photographed cattle grazed called Thursday to say that a dairy farm was just down the road. “Beef cows do not produce milk for yogurt,” another caller told me. I could almost hear her laughing.

On Thursday morning, I had taken the newspaper out of its box on my way to work and was surprised not to see traditional black-and-white Holsteins in the Page 1 photograph. I pulled over during my drive to the office to look again at the picture — were they a different dairy breed — red Holsteins? I squinted but saw no udders.

New reporters at The Daily Star often hear stories about big-city children who visit local county fairs and learn the answer to “where does milk come from?” Some are lessons worth repeating, including: Don’t forget the basics, and if in doubt, check it out.


Some changes are afoot at City Hall in Oneonta.

Mayor Dick Miller said he is moving out of his first-floor corner office to an office on the second floor.

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