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Mist the Cow Becomes Nation’s Most Expensive Milker

July 13, 1985 GMT

EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) _ Mist, a contented cow hailed as the likely matriarch of a line of stars in the bovine world, milked a group of investors of $1.3 million Saturday, the largest price ever fetched by a cow at auction.

Mist, a Holstein and mother of 14, topped by at least $100,000 the price paid for the previous record holder, a Texas cow, said auction spokeswoman Kate McGrath.

The cow was bought by a group called ″Mist Syndicate,″ led by Boston lawyer Jerome Rappaport, who was Mist’s sole owner before the auction.

Rappaport, who also owns a farm in East Montpelier, said he put Mist up for auction ″to generate the concept of the value of the cow. We would have gone to a million-and-a-half. It’s our opinion she can generate money.″

He said many factors contribute to Mist’s value, including her pedigree as ″best daughter of the incomparable S-W-D Valiant″ - the quality of her milk, her milk production capacity and the value of her offspring.

″Mist is a show cow,″ Rappaport said. ″She has a high pedigree, high index, and her milk has a high butterfat content. She sold today not only for herself, but for her 14 pregnancies as well.″

He added, ″Five or six of her offspring have sold collectively for $500,000. And she’s still a young cow with a lifetime ahead of her. In today’s world, she can be the founder of a great generation of cows.″

Bidder Jean Serviss of Owosso, Mich., who went to $800,000 on behalf of several Illinois investors, said, ″She’s an extremely good cow. I think Mist will bring a good profit for her owners.″