It’s easy to forget how important they are to our food chain, so July 11th is Cow Appreciation Day.

Here are some great ways to say “Moo-chas Grasses” to bovines everywhere, from the folks at Fearrington Village, a resort and spa on a historic dairy farm in North Carolina.

– Have a glass of milk. Or better yet, make it a milk punch, a sweet, cold, elegant blend of dairy and liquor that dates back centuries, which is enjoying a revival these days.

fearrington-belted-galloway-cow-with-family– Visit a working farm and hug a cow. The striking appearance of these Belted Galloway cows (below) are reminiscent of an Oreo cookie. (Milk, please!) This breed of cow, which originated in Galloway, Scotland over a century ago, adorn many fields in the USA today.

– Donate a cow to end hunger for a family. Heifer International is famous for its program that lets you buy a cow and donate it to a family, helping lift them out of poverty:

– Take a local cheese making class and learn the difference between cow, sheep and goat’s milk cheeses.

- Learn about cows: Did you know that cows form close friendships, with at least two preferred pals. They also hold grudges – for years. They are emotional and will produce more milk when treated better as individuals.

They get excited if given the chance to solve problems: When challenged to figure out how to open a door or get to food, their heartbeat increased, brainwaves showed excitement, and some even jump into the air.

Cows benefit from almost 360 degree vision, with the ability to see predators coming from any direction. They also have an excellent sense of smell and are able to detect odors up to 5 miles away. Their hearing is also beyond human capacity, with both low and high frequency sounds.

– You can win a two night stay at The Fearrington House Inn — home to Belted Galloway cows — by entering their Instagram photography contest. Details here.

Photo credits: (top) Dave A – CC license

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