What does a 12-year-old kid and a cow have in common? Well, they both had to learn to drink milk right after they were born, and both received vaccination shots. Just like the child has his or her toenails trimmed, the cow’s hooves are trimmed.
Newly minted author Philip Herr of Philhaven Farm in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, explores these and many other similarities in a book he has written and self-published. The home-schooler entrepreneur has already sold 500 copies of the book, titled Walk a Mile in My Farm Boots, at $10.95 each. He is currently having 3,000 more copies printed, five of which will go to a local attorney who wants to have the books available in his waiting room.
Herr, who hopes to pursue a career in agriculture someday, plans to use any profits received for his college fund. But the real purpose behind the book was to help provide more information about the dairy industry.
“Sometimes my friends ask funny questions about the farm, and I started to realize that people don’t know a lot about what we do,” he says. “One time a friend asked me why we had towers on the farm. I told him that they were silos and that’s where we stored feed.”
Another example Herr shared is that his mother was asked by a local schoolteacher if the family could bring a cow into the classroom, having no idea how large a full-grown cow was and how difficult it would be to maneuver her through the hallways and doors.
He spent a year and a half developing the 40-page book, and the project soon became a family affair. His mother, brother and sister all contributed real-life photography of the farm, while Carol Kauffman took photos of Herr in action.
He says his favorite image in the book captures him sitting at the edge of the farm’s pond, dreaming about what his future holds.
In a thought bubble above him, the reader sees famous historical role models, including Abraham Lincoln and Reverend Billy Graham as well as family members that Herr looks up to, including his Uncle Dan, a pastor; Uncle Paul, an agricultural advocate; and Pappy Karl, a dairy farmer.
Another favorite section of the book for Herr is a spread with 144 individual photos of people of all ages consuming milk to demonstrate that one cow can produce nine gallons of milk and serve 144 people drinking a glass of milk per day.
In order to get so many images, the Herrs invited local church members and fellow dairy farmers to participate.
Herr hopes the book will continue to get into the hands of more and more consumers.
“I want to help show people why we need dairy farmers and teach people about dairy farm life,” he says. “I think it’s also important to help people understand why it’s so important to America to keep agriculture as a strong industry.” PTD
Walk a Mile in My Farm Boots is available for purchase on Amazon.com or by contacting Herr at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 274-3702.