MOO-SIC to their ears: a song contest judged by cows

Coast Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Edette Gagne leads a quartet of classically-trained musicians in a warm-up performance for dairy cows at the Valedoorn Dairy Farm in Agassiz, B.C.Photo courtesy of BC Dairy Association copy

Coast Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Edette Gagne leads a quartet of classically-trained musicians in a warm-up performance for dairy cows at the Valedoorn Dairy Farm in Agassiz, B.C.
Photo courtesy of BC Dairy Association

Article adapted from information from the BC Dairy Association

Level 3

“Music Makes More Milk” was a very different contest.
The BC Dairy Association invited people
to write music for a new audience, a bovine audience.
Farmers say that cows like music.
Just like humans, cows don’t like all kinds of music.
Some music seems to make them very happy.
Dave Eto, of the BC Dairy Association,
says that farmers know their cows well.
“One thing they’ve come to learn
is that happy cows produce more milk.”
And music is a natural way to make more milk.


B.C. dairy farmer
Tom Hoogendorn is a B.C. dairy farmer.
Tom and his family raise and
care for about 300 dairy cows
in B.C.’s Fraser Valley near Agassiz.
Tom has been playing music to his cows for years.
He plays mainly country music and classic rock.

The contest
“Music Makes More Milk” was an online contest.
The contest began in October.
Composers could use a special tool on the website.
This helped them write songs for cows.
People judged these “Cow Tunes”.
Later, the public voted for their favourites.

Warm-up for the cows
In October, Edette Gagné brought musicians
to the Valedoorn Dairy Farm, Tom’s farm.
The conductor and her musicians were the “opening act
for the contest. They hoped to get the cows in the mood.

The judges
The cows were the final judges.
How did cows judge the best tunes?
The winner was the song that produced the most milk.
Tzu-Deng Jerry D of Vancouver was the grand prize winner.
His song produced 7,230 litres of milk.
He won a trip to the Grammy Award Ceremonies next year in Los Angeles.

Musicians warm up the cows before their performance.Photo courtesy of BC Dairy Association

Musicians warm up the cows before their performance.
Photo courtesy of BC Dairy Association

2 thoughts on “MOO-SIC to their ears: a song contest judged by cows

    • Max, I must say that this was one of my favourite stories! I also thought the photo was so funny. The Gr. 6 girls laughed and laughed at the BC Dairy Foundation’s site.
      Glad you enjoyed it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *