Saluting My Father on Cow Appreciation Day

This is national Cow Appreciation Day. I salute my late father, Ken Bovard, an animal geneticist who spent his career researching beef cattle breeding. The 1958 photo below is from the Beef Cattle Research Station near Front Royal, Virginia. It was one of his all-time favorite photos and hung on the wall forever in our home.

Here’s a link to a 1969 article he co-authored on the effects of inbreeding on beef cattle.

Here’s the summary of a 1961 article he wrote on DDT.  He was no fan of Rachel Carson.

Here’s a link to his 1965 article on dwarfism in angus beef cattle.  And here’s a link to a list of most of his articles & citations.

And here’s some photos I took on that glorious terrain where my father worked and where our family lived.  The Beef Cattle station was closed in 1974 and the land was taken over by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.  Plenty of glorious scenery in Warren County, Virginia.  



The postcard below is from the 1930s – before German and Italian Prisoners of War built magnificent stone walls and turrets around the station.

Here’s a turret built by those POWs –

Same turret on a sunnier day –

And here’s the peach orchard where I worked for two summers, receiving daily cussings from the foreman that were great preparation for dealing with reader feedback decades later  🙂


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4 Responses to Saluting My Father on Cow Appreciation Day

  1. Tom Blanton July 9, 2019 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice pictures, Jim. In years gone by, when the weather was hot, I would head for the hills as everyone else was heading to Virginia Beach or the Carolina beaches. The western part of Virginia is a beautiful place – even though the Blue Ridge is sometimes the Gray Ridge these days.

    • Jim July 9, 2019 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks, Tom. You’re a wise man to head to western Virginia. And folks wonder why I can’t properly appreciate the D.C. Beltway….

  2. ruth Inglese July 10, 2019 at 3:35 pm #


    What great pictures. I especially love the one of my brother on the horse. Never saw that one! Will take time to read the articles included. Who would know they have a COW appreciation day. Why not? Seems they have appreciation Day for most everything these days. They will probably have cards in Hallmark soon for such a day.

    Thanks for including me on this email. Hope to see you the beginning of August in Harpers Ferry.


    • Jim July 10, 2019 at 3:48 pm #

      Ruth, thanks much for your comment. I will send you a larger size photo of Dad on horseback. I look forward to seeing y’all in Harper’s Ferry.