June 3, 2013 at 4:50 PM ET
Cute isn't a word commonly associated with cattle, but get ready for that to change, because you may yet use "cow" and "adorable" in the same sentence.
There are shows for dogs, cats, sheep, llamas — even hamsters, we kid you not — and so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that pampered cattle are put on display as well. And in the world of show cattle, cows do equal cute.
Redditors discovered this last week after one user posted a photo of a fluffy cow taken at Lautner Farms in Adel, Iowa, for all to admire. Now, certain corners of the Internet are obsessing over fuzzy bovines, tossing out highfalutin adjectives like “majestic” to describe them.
These cows are not some special breed of cow-cum-teddy bear: They've just been all fluffed up thanks to the power of product and blow-dryers. Styling a cow for showtime can take around 2 hours and requires hairspray to keep all that fuzz in place and oil to make their coats shine. Who knew cattle had so much aesthetic potential?
Phil Lautner of Lautner Farms says he was “somewhat surprised” by the Internet reaction to his cattle, though he certainly understands their appeal.
“Those cattle are pretty, and they’re tame,” he told TODAY.com. “They’re so fluffy-haired; I’m sure a lot of people would like to hug them like a teddy bear.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
While some of us are just learning about the intricate grooming routines of show cattle, the tradition has continued for decades out West. Oftentimes, teenagers participating in 4-H programs will wash, clip and blow-dry their cattle themselves in preparation for judging at state fairs and the National Western Stock Show in Denver. For others, it's a family affair.
"It takes months of daily care for presentation," Lautner Farms spokesperson Stephanie Cronin-Steck told TODAY via email. "It take a LOT of hard work, passion and love for the AG industry to be involved in this way of life."