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Meeting BU Written by Branden Aroyan

Bu, wow, what a wonderful cow!! I never thought I’d say it, but I’m in love with her and all that she represents—from her rescue, to living a healthy life, being treated kindly, experiencing community, balance, the family owned and operated farm she now lives on roaming eight hundred acres of organic alfalfa and grass pastures, biodynamics and Malibu Compost for making it happen.

I went on this photo shoot to capture windrows of biodynamic compost in Fresno. It’s not the typical dream destination I’m used to but it sounded like a good cause—saving the planet with compost. I liked the idea of a photo shoot that told a story of the earth under our feet rather than nature at its extreme which is the kind of stuff I’m usually shooting. I’m surprised to say this but of all the pristine surf trips I’ve been on around the world photographing big waves and world class surfers Fresno and Bu became one of my top five.

This trip opened my eyes to so many things. I saw the way other dairy cows live…the way it usually is, and it does not look fun. Along the highway I saw dairy cows crammed in small pens with no grass and no room to move. Bu now roams free and socializes with the rest of the herd grazing on open pasture under sunny skies. The joy of her new family can be felt in the air and seen in the warm smile on the faces of Randy, Denise, Colum, Mark, Teo and me. Yes, I am part of Bu’s family now.

As Bu stared into my camera lens I had to wonder if she realized how amazing her journey has been, how many lives she will touch and how she and other dairy cows are going to help save our soil with their poop. Bu and her friends each contributing a little organic goodness while curing the planet one crop at a time…this made me smile.

Bu, wow, what a wonderful cow!!!