LAKE COUNTY, Ill. — In some regards, the Lake County landscape is every bit as much as it was 150 years ago. But to a great extent, this county and plenty of others in Illinois and throughout America which were agriculturally base, have given way to the modern city and suburban lifestyle.
Enter a sculpture of a larger-than-life bovine. It’s an artistic homage to the milk cow and all that she represents — and it’s all because of Greg Koeppen and the Lake County Farm Bureau.
Koeppen is the executive director of the bureau and he saw a similar cow 20 years ago while driving through Door County, where German settlers brought them to Wisconsin to help in feeding a fast-growing Midwest.
“In my head at the time I said, ‘One day that’ll be so cool to have something like that here in a very urban Chicago area,” he said.
So 18 months ago he pitched it to the board at the bureau and they loved it.
“The minute I told him this is my idea is the vision I have for it they loved it. They embraced it and thought it would be a great opportunity to educate to urban population of agriculture and what’s important here,” he said. “Where do you go to find a 14′ x 23′ long cow? I Googled like any good farmer would do and found there was a company right in Sparta, Wisconsin, just out of Wisconsin Dells.”
Several months later, the masterpiece of Americana was complete at 14 feet high and 23 feet long and weighs 1,000 pounds. She can be seen at the Lake County Farm Bureau office at 70 US Hwy 45 in Grayslake.
She will now stand as an opus to the American farmer still tiling the soil and growing the crops.
She just needs a name.
“We felt that was most important to get the community involved,” Koeppen said.
There is now a naming competition online underway. Full details and how to enter can be found on the website.
The contest ends October 31.