An Upstate New York dairy farmer recently sent a video featuring an adoring calf licking and nibbling his ears to raise the spirits of a sick Pennsylvania youngster who was hospitalized with a high fever.
The farmer, Nathan Chittenden, whose family runs Dutch Hollow Farm in Stuyvesant N.Y. in Albany County, was made aware of the boy’s condition due to the farm’s affiliation with the American Dairy Association North East. The group, which serves dairy farmers throughout the Northeast, is dedicated to raising awareness of dairy farms, how they work and their importance in society.
In response to school closures earlier this month, the group encouraged kids stuck at home to use the association’s website to take virtual tours of three dairy farms. A comment from an appreciative Collegetown, Pa. mother was posted on the group’s Facebook page, noting that A.J., her sick, 4-year-old son, loves cows.
Between milking 800 cows to produce more than 6,000 gallons of milk to keep up with grocery demands, Chittenden filmed a video featuring some lovable calves and sent it to the Pennsylvania family, along with posting it on the dairy association’s Facebook page.
Chittendon said the mom and her son were thrilled.
“He sent me a video message back, thanking me. He loves cows and wants to come visit here and kiss them as soon as he can,” Chittenden said.
The family declined to be interviewed and Chittenden said he wanted to respect their privacy. A spokesman for the dairy association said the boy is currently “doing much better” and tested negative for the coronavirus.
“I think we’re all feeling the social isolation of this (coronavirus pandemic),” Chittenden said. “Anything we can do to reach out to people that need a pick-me-up, that’s the least we can do.”