Sterlena the Cow Rises Like the Phoenix from the Ashes

The daughter called me a few days ago, all excited.  She wanted me to guess what she had seen at the corner grocery store.

“What?” I asked.

“Sterlena,” she said.  She was so excited.  “Mom, Sterlena was there!”

I have to tell you that the hubby and I went out of our way to provide our children with cultural experiences.  We took them to D.C. where they made a rubbing of my cousin’s name from the Vietnam Memorial.  We took them to a replica of the HMS Bounty.  I can still remember the look on my son’s ten or twelve year old face when one of the crew offered to put him in the brig.  We toured a B17 bomber from WWII.

And we saw a cow.

Sterlena visits the grocery near the daughter.

Sterlena visits the grocery near the daughter.

See, we lived in a little town with about three stoplights, so when the kids were small, I often went to the next “big” town to do our grocery shopping.  Sterlena lived there.  She was the mascot for the Sterling Milk Company, which operated both a convenience store and a restaurant.  The company closed last year, as did the associated restaurant where, for nostalgia’s sake, my son held the rehearsal dinner for his wedding.

When the kids were small and we visited the restaurant, Sterlena often stood outside.  I asked my daughter what her best memory of the cow was, and her reply was, “Ron and I used to go thump on her stomach.  It sounded so cool!”  I guess it would be.  Sterlena is  fourteen feet high, considerably taller than their over-six foot mom…

Anyway, it seems the daughter was not alone in her love of a cow.  Evidently, when Sterlings was sold, there was actually a group out there called “Save Sterlena!.”  Many of its members were also young adults.   For a while, things looked bleak.  Sterlena moved to Wisconsin.

But not for long.

Sterlena Pride Dairy Cooperative opened this year.  None of the coop’s cows are injected with bovine growth hormone, which is a big draw for a lot of people.  It seems Sterlena is making the round of local stores to advertise the dairy and its products.  I hope all those young people and their parents return to buying Sterlena Pride products.  I hope the coop grows.  At least this time, small town America wins.

You never know what will make an impression on your children when you’re raising them, but on this I have to agree with the daughter.

I’m glad Sterlena is back.

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3 Responses to “Sterlena the Cow Rises Like the Phoenix from the Ashes”


  1. 1 writeathome July 11, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Sterlena looks like one fine bovine, and I’m sure a lot of other people in that area probably have pleasant memories associated with her as well.

  2. 2 Becky July 11, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Are you sometimes surprised at what your kids recall fondly, too?

  3. 3 writeathome July 14, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Yes, I am. Just a few days ago, my son was cleaning out some stuff in his room. He was shedding a few tears over a cardboard plane that he was getting rid of, because he said it took us a lot of time to put together and we had fun doing it. I didn’t know it meant so much to him, and I didn’t ask him to get rid of it. He’s just trying to clear out his room some, because we want to get him a weight bench for his birthday.


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