By Jennifer Gallus
Lola, a Holstein cow of rural Waverly, was recently the envy of her herd for being chosen as lead cow in a Timberwolves TV commercial.
Even though Lola’s lead role may only be one or two seconds long in the 30 second commercial, and she’s the only cow in the commercial, she made a fine representative for Holsteins everywhere.
Pat Bakeberg of Goldview Farms owns Lola and said that one day, out of the blue, he received a call from an animal agent looking for a cow for broadcast.
“It was a strange call. She (the agent) said they needed a cow at the Target Center in show condition for broadcast,” Bakeberg said.
The agent wouldn’t say what kind of broadcast that was confidential. She had gotten Bakeberg’s name from looking in county fair premium books.
Bakeberg e-mailed a picture of Lola to the agent. He was then asked if he had a cow that had more black and white spots. Bakeberg told them that Lola was the only cow he would be comfortable bringing at this time. He was told they would get back to him.
A few days went by, then Bakeberg got a call that Lola would work and that he should have her at the Target Center by 2 p.m. the next day.
“Luckily, it was sort of a quiet time. We had just started field work,” Bakeberg said.
Bakeberg and herdsman Keith Fasching washed Lola for about an hour, loaded her up in a trailer full of feed, hay, water, and cleaning supplies, and headed to the Target Center.
“On the way there, we got a call saying we couldn’t be there until 3:30 p.m. So we sat in the Ridgedale parking lot with the cow for an hour and a half, and then made our way to the Target Center,” Bakeberg said.
They were instructed to pull into the loading dock area under the bleachers at the Target Center.
“I’ve never been in that part of the Target Center before back stage.”
Bakeberg and Fasching cleaned Lola a little more, walked her out of the trailer, and were instructed to go through a black curtain.
Once on the other side of the curtain, the threesome encountered people everywhere and they could see that a Timberwolves commercial was being filmed.
“The producer was from California. He had never seen a cow in real life they loved her,” Bakeberg said.
They asked Bakeberg to walk Lola onto the hardwood floor, and Bakeberg said that he wouldn’t do that because she could slip. They asked him what would happen if she slipped, to which Bakeberg told them that she would then probably have to be put down.
After hearing that, black mats were brought out for Lola to walk on. Then they wanted Lola to stand without a halter on. They would film her for a few seconds, then she would start to walk and Bakeberg and Fasching would have to stop her for fear of her walking off the mats.
Lola was filmed for about four hours at different angles and with different people.
Bakeberg would shake hay in front of her to get her to turn her head a certain way, then he would give her a little treat.
“She did a lot better than I thought she’d do especially with all the bright lights and people and also being in a strange place. I was a little scared,” Bakeberg laughed.
When Lola wasn’t being filmed, they’d walk her into the trailer which was within 100 feet of where they were taping. In the trailer she could eat and drink.
“We had a trailer full of stuff for one cow. It was a lot of work, but it was fun, and we got paid for it,” Bakeberg said.