TURKEY HILL HISTORY: A GIANT COW IS BORN

Posted by Turkey Hill Team on July 28th, 2008


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Thanks to everyone for your great suggestions in our previous post on how to cure an ice cream headache. We’re going to summarize some of your ideas in a future Ice Cream Journal write-up and maybe even test some of them to see how well they work!

The following is an excerpt from our official history book, Turkey Hill: A Family Vision. To purchase your own copy, visit our online store.

In 1967, Turkey Hill Dairy purchased a Jersey cow that did not resemble an other Jersey cows found on the rolling hills surrounding the Dairy. The 13-and-a-half foot tall “herd of one” was made with reddish brown fiberglass, weighed in at over 3,500 pounds, and sported a set of three-foot horns. Because she was used to promote the All-Jersey line of milk, a giant milk carton was also displayed on the front of her trailer.

To name the giant cow, a contest was run asking for suggestions from schoolchildren. The contest winner suggested the name Proteina, and the newly named giant cow quickly became the company’s roving ambassador. Turkey Hill retired Proteina when the All-Jersey line of milk was discontinued. It did not take long, however, before the Dairy introduced a new cow. In 1977, Proteina was transformed from a Jersey cow to a giant black and white Holstein. At this time, her horns were permanently removed to avoid further havoc on utility lines and low underpasses.

In 1985, the Turkey Hill Cow, as she became known, made her first trip outside of central Pennsylvania to Independence Square in Philadelphia for the annual “Every Day is Sundae” Festival. Because this was the first of many ice cream giveaways, the Turkey Hill milk carton on the front of the trailer was replaced with an ice cream container.

(In the next chapter of Turkey Hill giant cow history, we’ll talk about some of the giant cow’s brushes with the law and her first trip overseas!)

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87 Responses to “TURKEY HILL HISTORY: A GIANT COW IS BORN”

  1. Judy says:

    I wish the Turkey Hill Cow would come to Pottstown with free ice cream for me!

  2. Jennie C. says:

    What a cow!!!

  3. Rebecca S. says:

    Oh cool! I love this kind of stuff. It reminds me of traveling from town to town looking for the “Worlds Biggest” i.e. ball of yarn, shoe house, etc.

    I too would love free ice cream here in CNY from the Turkey Hill Cow.

  4. Mary says:

    Yes, the “Big Cow” that used to reside here in Elk County made quite a stir also. I still expect to see it at the spot where it sat, however, it has been gone for quite a few years. It was a tourist attraction for our rural area!

  5. Cheryl S. says:

    Holy cow! Come visit us in Allison Park, PA.

  6. mary frey says:

    THE TURKEY HILL COW IS LIFE LIKE TO TEE;IT LOOKS, THE MARKING, ARE JUST LIKE THE COW ,MY GRANDPARENT HAD YEARS AGO. HOPE TO SOME SEE THE COW IN OUR TOWN WILLIAMSPORT,PA SOME DAY. THE CHILDRIN AND FOLKS ALL AGES AND EVEN THE MAYOR , WOULD GET A KICK OUT SEEING A COW OUR TOWN;;;

  7. Ruth K says:

    That big cow reminds me of a big farmer and cow outside a restaurant in the Ephrata area. I think his name is Amos.

  8. Meg says:

    I think it would be an even better (and more visually appealing) advertisement if the cow was pictured with an “ice cream mustache” or with its mouth IN the open carton of ice cream in front of it. That would be great and comical!

  9. Cheryl W says:

    I like the name the child came up with, Proteina!

  10. Joe says:

    Get me some milk

  11. Tianna says:

    Ok Luv the cow! How about featuring her in yournext commercial and digitally animating her haveing a conversation with Ernie. Be Cowful how you respond to my suggestion My niece says, otherwise we’ll have to mooove you outta the way. OK we just couldn’t resist a cow pun!

  12. Tim says:

    Very nice, but she’s no Salem Sue, the pride of New Salem, North Dakota:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_Sue

  13. Edie says:

    Reminds me of the first time we visited PA with our daughter who was 16 months old and got to “milk” a cow statue at Dutch Wonderland.

  14. Jacqueline says:

    As a Jersey girl, I have to take pride in the supersize Jersey cow.

  15. Stefanie Schmidt says:

    What a great story. This cow is definitely the official mascot of Turkey Hill.

  16. Deb says:

    I’ll have to look for a sighting of this huge cow, as I live in the greater Lehigh Valley PA and I still haven’t seen her yet. What a great picture that would make!

  17. Raymond says:

    MOOOOOO! great story about fun stuff…

  18. Susan C says:

    would hate to clean up after that big cow

  19. -Dick says:

    Love her blue eyes

  20. Jenilou says:

    Moo!

  21. Ann says:

    We have a Turkey Hill here, but we have never seen the COW. Perhaps she could stop by and join our country fair! I along with our town would certainly enjoy some free Turkey Hill Ice Cream!

  22. Caroline says:

    Maybe since I live in Jersey I have never seen that “Jersey” cow

  23. Jeffrey says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why “Turkey Hill” is a dairy products company. Shouldn’t it be: “Holstein Hill?” LOL

  24. Denise says:

    The cow looks like it;s ready to dive into that ice cream!

  25. KAREN says:

    I first discovered Turkey Hill when going to college in Lancaster – and when I came home it was a while before I found any locally. If only I knew to watch for the cow …

  26. Natalka says:

    We saw a cow – but not just the regular cow – it was a RASPBERRY DUETTO cow – driving down the PA Turnpike one day. Had to slow down to take a picture of that. And then, of course, had to stop to buy some duetto on the way home. Love the cow!

  27. Margaret M says:

    Can’t wait to read the next chapter about the giant cow and her brushes with law. Maybe you should have another contest to give the Turkey Hill Cow a name, that would be fun!

  28. Judy says:

    I have never seen the giant cow in person but like to play your “Catch The Cow” game on your web site.

  29. Patti Sherman says:

    That is the biggest cow I have ever seen–”go Turkey Hill!”

  30. JJ says:

    What a perfect mascot!

  31. Gloria says:

    I love the giant cow and I can’t wait to hear more stories about it.

  32. Sue says:

    Traveling East on the PA turnpike, we passed the Duetto Cow! What a sight that was! She was just riding along on her trailer, the breeze blowing in her hair,,, I think she was really enjoying the trip! Sure was a traffic stopper! lol

  33. SUSAN says:

    I would love to see a Turkey Hill giveaway here on Long Island! Weve had Ben and Jerrys and Snapple come to our supermarkets but would love to see the cow!

  34. Karen says:

    She reminds me of the cows that once appeared in Manhattan. They were always a fun surprise to stumble upon.

  35. Karen says:

    I love the Turkey Hill carton in lieu of a milk carton.

  36. Karen says:

    I love the giant cow and I can’t wait to hear the additional stories.

  37. Lorraine says:

    Hoping that the Giant Cow will someday visit Farmingdale, Long Island, New York. Our Village would be happy to have her as our guest.

  38. Fran Zentner says:

    Great story about the cow. Would love to win some Turkey Hill ice cream. We were visiting in Texas acouple of weeks ago and they were bragging about their ice cream. I started bragging about Turkey Hill ice cream.

  39. Tish Bonner says:

    Love ‘the cow’ Love your Turkey Hill Ice Cream….Enjoy the day!

  40. Jan says:

    I would like the cow to visit our fair that we have in September in Durham, CT.
    It would fit right in with the other farm animals that they have, and maybe I would get to take a picture with it.
    Go Turkey Hill!

  41. dawn says:

    Just when I was wondering what to do now that the end of July (nat’l ice cream month) is upon us, I find out that “Every Day is Sundae”! What wonderful news. Keep those great “cow” stories coming.

  42. beccah says:

    We LOVE spotting the Giant Cows when we are out driving. It always makes for great excitement in the car with the kids!

  43. Teri says:

    Oscar Mayer can have it’s weinermobile I much prefer a bovine trailer with the ice cream carton of my dreams.

  44. Lois S says:

    I love cows, best milk producers known. Bigger cow, more milk?

  45. Maryann says:

    Holy cow! Those cows are so cute. I never saw one in person but I do try to catch them on your site. Maybe next time I visit Lancaster I’ll spot one. But I still haven’t spotted Junior Mint ice cream. My daughter lives in New Jersey, I’m in NY. She told me last night that the Junior Mint ice cream is unbelievable. Mint ice cream with fudge and tiny junior mints. I told her Thanks a lot! I’ll keep looking!

  46. Debbie S. says:

    Love that T.H. cow. Can’t wait to hear about her tangles with the law. Is there a way to find out her traveling schedule so that we could meet her in person?

  47. brenda says:

    Good Morning to all Turkey Hill fans,
    Thank You for the information of the turkey hill cow. I am so happy that you are telling the story in parts. I am looking forward to read the next part of turkey hill ice cream Cow. I love the picture of the cow and ice cream

  48. Bert says:

    Great!!

  49. BETTY BABCOCK says:

    these history stories are great

  50. Sarah says:

    Imagine the labor pains giving birth to a 3500 pound cow!! HA HA

  51. Diane says:

    have it come to northeastern,pa
    people would love it

  52. Kelli says:

    Easton, PA – home of Crayola would love to have Proteina come to visit!!

  53. Joe Soler says:

    Very cool how this cow has earned a new lease on life thanks to Turkey Hill. We don’t appreciate our giant mascots anymore like we used to appreciate them.

  54. h tina says:

    when is the turkey hill cow coming to schuylkill county ?

  55. Carroll Good says:

    A few years ago we were driving in Lancaster County and low and behold right in front of us was the giant Turkey Hill cow. It was quite an experience and we really enjoyed seeing her “up close”. Would love to have a carton of Turkey Hill ice cream as big as the one that rides in front of her. Yum!

  56. Bob Kessler Jr says:

    How far does the Turkey Hill cow travel? Does it ever leave the state of Pennsylvania? I live in Maryland and would not mind a visit from the cow especially if accompanied by gallons of Turkey Hill ice cream.

  57. Peg Cramer says:

    It would be fun to see that cow parked on my street for a day. How often does she get a “touch-up” paint job?

  58. Patty Brandel says:

    i love these stories! Great ice cream!

  59. Vikki C. says:

    I like the idea someone else posted here of having an “ice cream mustache” on the cow, and the container open and obviously eaten from. That would be really cute!!

  60. Lisa C. Pasternak says:

    Hey T.H. how about a series of ads with the mascot, a different devotee of T.H. ice cream in each ad with a T.H. mustache and a carton of their favorite flavor? Remember, I get the first shot! “Got Ice Cream?”

  61. Hope says:

    would love to see her come to Long Island NY . She can cool off in one of our many beaches. I can see her now crossing the VERRAZZANO BRIDGE—

  62. Artemis says:

    Now thats having a cow!!!!!

  63. Erica says:

    I think the kids who named the Jersey Girl Proteina were so smart, since we always think of milk products as a good source of protein!

  64. peg says:

    Good idea. Everybody likes ice cream, especially Turkey Hill.

  65. Susan says:

    Love the cow hope she come to Buffalo again soon!

  66. Debbie F says:

    About 5 years ago the cow made an appearance at our local super market.
    Thanks TH for stopping in our area(about 45 miles north of Pittsburgh,Pa)

  67. Theresa D says:

    Great Story!! I have never seen the cow when visiting. Maybe you should bring Proteina to Buffalo NY for a visit!! I’m sure she would be a very welcome visitor:)

  68. Debbie L says:

    This Jersey Girl would love some Jersey cow Turkey Hill ice cream any time!!!

  69. Kathy says:

    I love reading the history of long standing companies, and I miss the big mascots too.

  70. Nancy N says:

    I saw the cow a couple of years ago at our Wegmans store in Chili, NY. I didn’t know TH was there, but went to do some shopping and there it was. This was when Wegmans began to carry TH ice cream. So glad they made that decision.

  71. Pat says:

    I saw the Turkey Hill cow in a parking lot as I was riding past on the highway. By the time I realized it was the Turkey Hill cow I was already down the road LOL !!!! Keep the history lessons coming Turkey Hill.

  72. Barbara K. says:

    When I first started to read this article I saw a giant HOLSTEIN cow staring at me and the article was talking about a 1967 JERSEY Cow. I thought–they are confused–Jersey cows are not black and white!

  73. Christina M. says:

    How cute!!!!!!!!!!

  74. G Otto says:

    I’m looking forward to seing this cow once again at an all-you-can-eat ice cream event, like the ones you once held in Lancaster Square in Lancaster, PA. It was an event to die for.

  75. Ella says:

    I always knew NJ had the largest cows! Go Turkey Hill!

  76. Amy K Gross says:

    Cool Cow. I just saw my first Turkey Hill store when I went to Hershey park on Friday. I love Turkey Hill. Amy

  77. Elizabeth P. says:

    Soooo cute! That’s pretty much the reason I started to get Turkey Hill. I love cows, I have a huge collection, and then when I saw a cow, I tried it, and I love it ever since!

  78. marie giase says:

    Giant cow -wow

  79. lee carr says:

    I will be in the great county of Lancaster this weekend and I will keep an eye out for the giant cow. I hope I get a photo, if not, I am sure that I will have some turkey hill something, ice cream or drink. soooooo good.

  80. Heidi says:

    When I was a kid, I remember standing underneath a giant Guernsey cow in Wisconsin. Maybe you need to find that cow along with a giant Brown Swiss and Ayrshire for the TH stable. On second thought, scrap that idea. What could possibly be more fun than owning the Miss Duetto cow?

  81. Loretta says:

    I believe we saw the Turkey Hill cow at the New York State Fair not too many years ago. Standing in line to receive a cup of Turkey Hill ice cream was a treat for us on a hot day at the fair. Now we get our own Turkey Hill ice cream when we grocery shop.

  82. Robbin L. Netz says:

    The photo just does not do it justice. You have to see it in person to really appreciate the magnitude of it. Awesome! Great to see other people’s facial expressions when they see it for the first time. Simply makes you smile.

  83. Zona Bordas says:

    I will very proud to see this cow when I win the contest! Hope we can bring it home to our home town! We would be glad to have him visit! And I do love Turkey Hill Ice Cream,espically peach this time of year! Love the creamy rich ice cream!

  84. Barbara says:

    My son-in-law used to live in Etters, PA – says he saw the cow drive by frequently! How cool! (especially since I have a cow collection)

  85. Judy Adam says:

    My friend was lucky enough to win a ride with the Turkey Hill Cow. She had a great time traveling through the countryside, and I enjoyed the pictures!

  86. Susan says:

    Why doesn’t the Turkey Hill giant cow have a fan site on Facebook???? I remember when the kids were little they couldn’t wait until the cow came around to visit at the local store. Can anyone start this group or is this something that Turkey Hill would have to start due to licensing?

  87. Geri Harding says:

    I was so excited when I saw the big Turkey Hill cow in tow. I missed it in the parking lot leaving a rest stop at 8:30 am on the 23rd of August. Grabbed out my camera and tried my best to get beside it on the highway to take a picture, without causing an accident. I did manage to get 2 shots but not real good ones. But they were good enough to show off what I had seen. It made my travel on would to Maine from Connecticut pleasent, just thinking about what I had seen. Thank you for having such a beautiful cow. Geri

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