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The Professor and the Brown Cows by Richard…

The Professor and the Brown Cows

by Richard Hansford

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Recently added byjimmaclachlan



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Hansford lived in the same area I grew up in & this short book is about his adventures as a gentleman farmer. He knew nothing about farming when he bought the place, but learned a bit thanks to some real characters in the area. The farmer that helped him the most is on the front cover of the book & is a good friend of my mother's, so she asked me to get this for her.

It was a fun read, especially if you knew the people, most who had their names changed, although I recognized most easily enough. Rocky instead of Stony - that sort of thing. One memorable character whose name wasn't changed was Smoke & his signature reply to "How are you doing?" - "Terrible." The short, little grump definitely was a font of knowledge for all of us. I got a smile reading about it.

If you liked Herriot's books, this is somewhat similar, although the author is a clueless suburbanite & a raging liberal. He was also obviously a hard worker & has a good sense of humor. If you think farm life is idyllic, this is a fun way to learn some of the issues. It's hard work & it is a commitment that he managed for a short time. I really can't understand a person who could give up a place like that including a dog he'd raised from a pup, though. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 143277512X, Paperback)


Spurning realistic advice from the locals and the skepticism of their daughter, the professor and his wife decided to surround themselves with cows. There was much to learn: the biology of medical research, with minute traces of cells in Petri dishes, was not the same as the biology of separating a possessive, thousand-pound cow from her calf.

These tales show how a couple and their teenage children learnt to look after their beasts and appreciate the magic of the land and of the seasons. Along the way they developed a fondness for Irish Wolfhounds, known as Gentle Giants, and less of a regard for goats. Local farmers included some colorful characters who became fast friends and who initiated them into such country pursuits as bull-and-oyster roasts and machine-gun shoots. Perhaps the most enduring lesson of all may be an appreciation of the hard circumstances and deep work ethic of those who grow our food.

Dr. Richard Hansford has enjoyed a long career as a research scientist and medical educator. His previous books include The Doctor Factory and Rats in Science and Medicine, which examine the ethical challenges of working in an offshore medical school and in the trenches of scientific research. The present work is kinder and gentler and more in keeping with his other non-fiction book, Ignorance is Bliss - Sailing with Dad.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:28 -0400)

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