I've belonged to a local dairy association for about a year now. It's the only way in Indiana to get raw milk, since sales are banned. While I technically own part of the herd (something like 1/10 of a cow, lol!), I haven't spent much time at the farm, because it's so far from my house. I have my milk delivered to the farmer's market instead. But when the herd manager/farm owner sent out an e-mail soliciting milking help, I decided to get to know my cows a little better.
Today was considered an "observation", but I jumped right in and got hands-on. I learned how to drive the cows from the paddock to the milking barn, hook up and operate the milking equipment, feed the cows, and clean up the parlor afterwards. My mind is a little overloaded right now, and I'm still shy of large animals with horns, but I'm so excited to be learning!
I can't wait til the day we have cattle of our own... My dream is to raise grass-fed beef, so I figured that I'd better start learning about cows sooner rather than later!