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Dairy cows grazing in a green field

Bison and cows, then and now

biologyDr. Alex Hastings, Fitzpatrick Chair of Paleontology / Zoe Harvey, Marketing Communication SpecialistJul 7, 2021

Bovine history meets modern science

Bison have been living in Minnesota prairies for centuries. These massive mammals have provided resources for food, shelter, clothing, and tools to the Dakota and Ojibwe people, and they also have incredible cultural and spiritual significance.

How are bison of the past and present connected to today's domesticated bovine, the cow?

From butter sculptures at the State Fair to everyday items on your dinner table, cows are a big part of Minnesota culture and dietary choices.

In this special Specimen Spotlight and Ask an Expert series, you’ll find the connection between these two creatures and learn more about modern dairy production with Dr. Alex Hastings and dairy farmer Jerry Jennissen of Jer-Lindy Farms and Redhead Creamery.

First up, Alex's special Specimen Spotlight all about a bison femur and how scientists figure out which bone is which:

Follow up with even more cow facts in farmer Jerry's interview all about common dairy cow questions and genetics (and feel free to open the full playlist to explore even more farm facts):