Dairy cows would be rated in sort of a beauty pageant being considered by the Agriculture Department. There would be no Moos America, however.
Daniel D. Haley, head of the department's Agricultural Marketing Service, said the proposal to establish standards for dairy breeding cows and heifers was in response to initiatives by the dairy industry and exporters.Four grades would be considered: Supreme, Approved, Medium and Common. Currently, Haley said, there are no uniform grade standards for dairy cows nationally. Those that do exist vary from state to state.
Haley said features to be considered when grading a cow might include: weight adjusted to age; body capacity; condition of legs and feet; mammary development; and dairy character, including thinness of hide, angularity and shape of head.
The standards would be voluntary and paid for by users. The standards would be expected to help set a common trading language for a lucrative export business in dairy cattle that has developed in recent years.