Dairy Birthing Center Gives Fair Visitors Front-Row Seats to Live Cow Births

FAIRLEA, W. Va (WOAY) – Baby Hokie came into this world at noon on Thursday at the State Fair and it happened in front of an audience. Perk Farm Organic Dairy has been setting up a birthing center on the fairgrounds for nine years now. 

This year, the farm brought in 18 cows who were bred nine months ago for the State Fair to show people how the birthing process works. But similar to humans, while it takes a lot of planning and scheduling, the babies will always come on their own time. 

“I think the most we’ve had was 25 or 26 and one year we only had, I think we only had 14 one year,” farm owner Rem Perkins said. “Just like this year, we bred cows to calve for the fair. We actually breed them to calve for the whole month of August. We started having calves two weeks ago that were due to calve this week so when we say we don’t know which one’s next, we literally don’t know which one’s next.” 

The farm where the cows come from is in Frankford, West Virginia, not too far from the state fairgrounds. It’s owned and operated by the Perkins family who look forward to the state fair every year. 

“We’re letting people experience the miracle of birth, so to speak,” Lauren Perkins, Rem’s daughter, said. “So people can come by and watch the whole process and see, you know, the whole process from start to end when the cow calves also to what she does after that, cleaning up the afterbirth, taking care of the calf, nursing the calf and that kind of thing.” 

At the end of this, the family could walk away with over a dozen calves but they say it’s not about what they get but what they give. 

“There are just not many dairies and less and less people are attached to them so being able to bring what we do to the fair and show people and let them see firsthand is really a good thing for us,” Rem said. 

The birthing center will be open throughout the entire fair.

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.