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Tue, Feb 19, 2013

Monday Marked Anniversary Of First Cow Milked On An Airplane

Product Was Said To Be Parachuted Into St. Louis During Air Expo

For many, Monday was Presidents' Day, the day the government set aside to honor the birthdays of Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. But in the dairy industry, it was also noted as the anniversary of the first time a cow was milked on board an airplane.

Really.

The Dairy Farmers of America note on their website that on February 18, 1931, a cow named Elm Farm Ollie became not only the first cow to fly on an airplane, but "(d)uring the flight she was milked and the milk was sealed in paper containers and parachuted over St. Louis, Missouri."

An article in Wikipedia puts the date in 1930, which is corroborated by other sources including a 1998 article in the Massachusetts newspaper South Coast Today, and indicates that the event was part of the International Air Exposition in St. Louis. The article cites a St. Louis newspaper of the time which reported that the flight was aboard a Ford Trimotor that covered 72 miles from Bismark, MO, to St. Louis.

The St. Louis paper reported at the time that the flight was in part for "research" into how livestock would react to being transported by air, but that there was also a promotional aspect to the flight. Charles Lindbergh was reportedly among those attending the Air Expo and drank a glass of the milk given by Elm Farm Ollie in flight.

Which leads us to wonder if the famous aviator will ever show up as part of a "Got Milk?" campaign.

(Ford Trimotor pictured in file photo)

FMI: www.dfamilk.com

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