Cows for a Cause

Hannah Schacherer, Marketing and Communications Intern

Throughout the months of June and July, cows began appearing throughout the town of Litchfield, Minnesota. Not real cows, but 18 fiberglass cows were placed around town as a fundraiser for local nonprofit organizations. A way to celebrate First District Association’s 100th anniversary, we partnered with the Litchfield Downtown Council to put on Downtown Cowtown.

Downtown Cowtown started as an idea to bring more traffic through Litchfield, while recognizing the 100th anniversary of our Cooperative. This idea was brought forth by one of our employees, Troy Gassman. “I was in Buffalo, Minnesota, and noticed they had several painted buffalo around their town, and thought we should do something similar to celebrate our 100th anniversary,” he said. Troy brought the idea to the Litchfield Downtown Council, and together they started ordering cows and calves to place around Litchfield.

At First District Association, we pride ourselves on having a culture where we care for people and the relationships we have, whether it is with industry professionals, customers, employees or the community. With the help of donations from our contractors, who assisted with our recent plant expansion, we were able to order the fiberglass cows. A cow or a calf was given to 18 local nonprofit organizations, who decorated them in unique ways. With the help of our community, eight cows and 10 calves were then placed outside of businesses around Litchfield. The cows and calves became a popular attraction throughout the summer, as people from the community and surrounding towns were able to go on a scavenger hunt to find each one, with some people taking and posting photos with the different cows.

On Aug. 26, people from Litchfield and the surrounding area joined together at the Litchfield Civic Arena for the Downtown Cowtown auction. With the help of the Litchfield Downtown Council and all who bid on the cows, more than $36,000 was raised for the participating nonprofit organizations.

Each cow was associated with a nonprofit organization, and the final bid for each cow was given directly to the respective nonprofit organization. These organizations were pleased with the successful outcome of the Downtown Cowtown auction, and First District Association was overwhelmed by the bidders’ generosity, the Downtown Council’s participation, and the community’s overall support.

Below are the Values of each cow after the auction:

Cow Name:
Chef Robert Bovine
Artist: Parkview Grill
Nonprofit: Litchfield Public School Foundation
Value: $1,700








Cow Name: Poppy
Artist: JoAnne Garielson
nprofit: American Legion Auxiliary
Value: $1,000







Cow Name: Mighty Dragons
Artist: Mighty Dragons Pre-School
Nonprofit: Litchfield High School Trap Shooting Club
Value: $900








Cow Name: Early Childhood
Artist: ISD 465 Early Childhood Family Programs
Nonprofit: ISD 465 Early Childhood Family Programs
Value: $800








Cow Name: Scout
Artist: Litchfield Boy Scout Troop 3353
Nonprofit: Litchfield Boy Scout Troop 3353
Value: $1,400






Cow Name: Dragon Calf
Artist: Litchfield Area Mentorship Program
Nonprofit: Litchfield Area Mentorship Program
Value: $1,000








Cow Name: Alfie
Artist: Litchfield Downtown Council
Nonprofit: Litchfield Downtown Council
Value: $900






Cow Name: 4-H
Artist: Meeker County 4-H
Nonprofit: Meeker County 4-H
Value: $2,200






Cow Name: Lions Club
Artist: Litchfield Lions Club
Nonprofit: Litchfield Lions Club
Value: $1,600







Cow Name: Rosie the Rotarian
Artist: Litchfield Rotary Club
Nonprofit: Litchfield Rotary Club
Value: $1,300






Cow Name: MAPP
Artist: Meeker Area Partners in Prevention
Nonprofit: Meeker Area Partners in Prevention
Value: $1,700






Cow Name: Stay’n Play
Artist: Stay’n Play
Nonprofit: The Marcus Huhn Scholarship Fund
Value: $1,300






Cow Name: James
Artist: Jill Rogness
Nonprofit: The James Project
Value: $3,100







Cow Name: Philip
Artist: School of St. Philip
Nonprofit: School of St. Philip
Value: $4,000







Cow Name: Mittens
Artist: Litchfield FFA Chapter
Nonprofit: Litchfield FFA Chapter
Value: $6,100






Cow Name: Moo Cow
Artist: Kids of the Kingdom
Nonprofit: Kids of the Kingdom
Value: $2,100







Cow Name: Emmaus
Artist: Anna Mae Wigen
Nonprofit: Emmaus Place
Value: $2,400






Cow Name: Ecumen
Artist: Ecumen Hospice and Home Care
Nonprofit: Ecumen Hospice and Home care
Value: $1,100