Looking like giant Oreo cookies, these striking cattle graced Larry and Jo Sholtey’s Beef and Bees Farm along South Lakeshore Drive between Ludington and Pentwater. Commonly referred to as Oreo Cookie cows, they are more accurately named belted Galloways, a rare breed of Scottish beef cattle. Larry Sholtey had grown up on a farm. He and Jo raised and showed the distinctive, thick-coated cattle for many years after their retirement from Ludington High School, where Jo taught and Larry was principal. I always enjoyed seeing the “Cookie Cows,” occasionally stopping when I thought I saw the makings of a good photograph. I made several images over the years that pleased me but none that wowed me. Then one summer afternoon I spotted them grazing on some Queen Anne’s Lace in a corner of their pasture. I couldn’t stop fast enough. I had not visualized this picture, but I instantly recognized how extraordinary it was. Untold numbers of passersby enjoyed seeing Larry and Jo’s cattle until Larry became too ill to care for them. I will always be grateful to Jo and Larry, for happily and graciously sharing these beautiful creatures with me and countless other passersby

Cookie Cows

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