Rusty the cow is the winner of the Shepparton News’ Picture Perfect Pets competition after more than 450 photos were submitted and more than 6800 votes were cast online.
Rachael Rowe said the winning picture of herself resting her head on three-year-old dairy cow Rusty was taken at the Harston farm by her partner, Daniel Beattie, who saw the moment and just thought it would make a good photo.
‘‘I was having a bad day when the picture was taken, I had gone to hospital for a caesarean, but there was a mix-up of the date and I went home — I was upset and disappointed, crying for my baby, feeling a bit upset,’’ Ms Rowe said.
‘‘So I went out and sat down with Rusty for an hour and we got up together, I didn’t know there was a camera around.
‘‘I felt better afterwards, funny thing is we were both pregnant at the time — I had my child in August before she had her first calf in January.’’
Ms Rowe said Rusty was really cheeky and loved to be patted.
‘‘She’s a wonderful cow with such a great nature, my nine-year-old daughter feels safe around her and often comes up to give her a pat,’’ she said.
Rusty is one of 160 cows at the Harston biodynamic dairy farm owned by Greg and Jenny Pell and Ms Rowe has noticed the good nature of the animals since joining the farm.
Ms Rowe said Rusty was lucky she was loved, because she was kept on at the dairy farm, despite her only having three teats, meaning she does not produce as much milk as the other cows.
Rusty is a mixed breed cow from a Jersey mother.
The top three vote winners will receive store vouchers courtesy of the Hunter Group.