Photo of a 15-year-old boy sleeping on his heifer at the 2017 Iowa State Fair clutched the hearts of not only Iowans, but people across the nation.
Mitchell Miner is a 15-year-old boy. He and his cow Audri recently competed in the Iowa State Fair dairy kettle show. Even with their hard work and dedication, they only placed fifth out of seven.
The two were exhausted. They took a nap when the boy’s father came in to photograph them as they cuddled side by side. The picture was shared with the caption: ,,Our son Mitchell and his heifer after yesterday’s show’
When Jeremy Miner walked into the barn, he saw his son, Mitchell Miner, 15, and his heifer, Audri, snuggling up for a snooze.
He quickly snapped the sweet picture and shared it on Facebook. Within days, it went viral tallying over 24,000 likes and 2,500 shares as well as hundreds of comments.
Even though the boy and his cow didn’t win the top prize at the Iowa State Fair last weekend, they are definitely winning the internet in a photo that captures a tender moment between the two.
Mitchell’s mother, Laura, explained that Audri was being borrowed by the family for the summer from a local dairy farm. She and her husband, Jeremy, both grew up on farms and believe in sharing those values with their children.
“We learned a lot from the farm,” Jeremy said. “We have those values instilled in us and we are trying to do what we can to preserve that.”
As for Audri, she will return to her home on the dairy farm in the fall after the family’s final showing in September.
But what is it about the photo that touched people? On social media, people had an array of reactions:
It conjured memories for people of growing up on a farm and the love and care for they had for their animals while raising them for county fairs and 4-H shows.
It conjured memories of the hard work and dedication it takes to wake up at 3 a.m. for your animal.
People mentioned the everyday care it takes to show an animal: bathing them, clipping them and walking them nonstop.
For others, it’s the unusual bond that human beings are able to make with animals that are nothing like them and weigh 10 times more than them.
In the end, the photo highlights the essence of the Iowa State Fair — hard work, compassion, a diverse array of people and opinions and adorable animals.