Kris and I are sad to let all of those familiar with Locust Knoll Farm that our beloved Brown Swiss steer Franke passed away on May 22nd. My wife Kris brought Franke home in the back of her Volvo when he was just 3 days old and weighed only 80 pounds. She bottle fed Franke as a calf and watched in amazement as he grew to eventually 2800 pounds!
Everyone that ever came to the farm remembers Franke. Despite his enormous size, he was as gentle an animal as could be. Children could hand feed Franke his favorite treats without fear. It wasn’t uncommon for him to come up and lay his big head on your shoulder. He had an enormous appetite and only refused to eat when he came down with pneumonia a few winters ago. He bounced back to good health to roam our pastures and delight those he came in contact with.
I can remember years ago when I was new to the farm I heard Franke fart, It was not an ordinary breaking of wind because it went on for a good 40 continuous seconds… no kidding! Another episode I remember with Franke was when I got a call while I was checking out at Kroger. Kris received a visit by the sheriff who informed her that Franke and our miniature cows were in a field on Judd Road about a block and a half away. How do you get a 2800 pound steer and six miniature cows to come back home? Very carefully! There I was, feed bucket in hand, leading Franke and his partners in crime down Judd Road to our street Apple Road. What a sight! Traffic stopped, neighbors lined up on their porches, as Franke and his buddies made their way home.
Whenever people came to our farm to visit our miniature cows they all were fascinated with Franke. You simple could not get over his huge size and his loving nature. Franke will be sadly missed by all that knew him. Kris put it best when she said “Franke was the farm”.
Today Franke roams the green pastures of heaven grazing to his heart’s content, and if I know Franke passing a little gas along the way.