GRANDMA'S DEXTER FARM
Contact Info:
Dan Butterfield
Cedar Rapids - Toddville, Iowa
319-533-5059
GrandmasDexters@aol.com
I have the great pleasure of reading through the old American Dexter
Cattle Association newsletters that were printed by Daisy Moore.
Wanted to share this gem from the July 9, 1962 newsletter:

To a Grand Little Cow by Otto C. Jensen

A Dexter is a grand little Cow;
You'll often wonder exactly how,
For size, she produces so much milk
She does! and just as smooth as silk,
She has other qualities, soon you'll know,
Especially at the Cattle show.
With ribbons blue, and champions grand,
She brings home prizes and cash in hand.
Gentle and affectionate, easy to mind;
Quick to respond to treatment kind;
A pleasure to own, a pleasure to raise.
Much, much more can be said in her praise,
But let's stop right here and now:
Simply say, A Dexter is a Grand Little Cow.

Otto Jensen was the owner of the Tak-Sca-Du-Hav Farm in Lancaster,
New York. By 1963, his herd of Dexters totaled about 100 head, and
was one of the largest Dexter herds in the world at that time. Otto
Jensen served as President of the American Dexter Cattle Association
from 1959 to 1965.

In the April 1973 American Dexter Cattle Association newsletter,
Palmer H. Langdon wrote the following entitled, "My Last Ride with
Otto Jensen":

It was October 18, 1969 and the Dexter meeting at Albany, New York
had just concluded. Otto Jensen had come by train, as he always did,
arriving very late the previous night after milking his cows on his
farm near Buffalo. In fact, he had gotten to the hotel long after
the rest of us had turned in, but he was right on hand to take part
in the breakfast session putting forth his positive ideas on the way
to promote the sale and breeding of Dexter cattle. After a look at
the timetable, Otto saw that no train would come through Buffalo
until much later in the afternoon, so I said, "Why not ride with me
as far as Utica?"--to which he readily agreed.

As we rolled along past farms at their autumn best, we talked of how
much Dexter cattle had meant to both of us. Otto and I had met just
ten years earlier at the home of the secretary of our Association,
Mrs. Daisy Moore, in Decorah, Iowa. As we had left that evening to
return to the little hotel, Otto remarked to me, "We've got to keep
this thing (the Association) going strong or all we have is
beefsteak." The next day we had a nice conference at the farm of our
founder, John Logsdon, father of Daisy Moore. As a newcomer to
Dexters, I had listened intently to the conversation of these two
veteran cattlemen with their hopes of enlarging the numbers of our
little breed. Otto had traveled by train all the way to Decorah for
the meeting each year.

From April 1, 1959 until April 25, 1965, Otto served as President of
the Association, never missing a meeting and always getting up a
large exhibit of Dexters for the Erie County Fair. He was
a "twilight" cattleman, working at his food brokerage business during
the day, while milking his herd at dawn and evening. At one point,
as a result of acquisitions to keep registered stock from going to
market, he was running 100 head.

As President, Otto always stressed the importance of selling "a
package" to a new breeder of three bred heifers and a bull calf, so
that the new member had enough stock to mean something and to grow
with, rather than selling single animals. Otto always also stressed
the importance of getting the young people on the farm interested, of
working with 4-H groups and the like. He felt very strongly that if
the owners had daily care of their stock, they would become as
attached as he was and would stay with Dexters.

As we approached Utica, I had a feeling that Otto was rather tired
from his strenuous life and urged him to take things a little easier
now that he was in his seventies, but he said that was impossible
with the shortage of farm help, and besides, he wanted to expand his
herd and promote the breed. The Utica station was nearly deserted
when I dropped him off, and I remarked, "Otto, it's the end of the
railroad era - looks like you are the only passenger waiting for the
Buffalo train." We shook hands and I left him, agreeing to meet
again soon. A few days later, Otto was found dead on his barn floor
amongst the cattle he loved so much.

In the newsletter, Daisy Moore added the following:

"The ADCA is grateful to Palmer Langdon, one of our Directors, for
sharing the above tribute to a fine man, Otto Jensen. It was a small
incident, a sharing of a few short hours in a busy day, but it tells
much of Otto's character and his great love of animals. Otto did
much to help unite the Dexter people and he served the Association
with distinction. He won many trophies when he took his herd to
shows, particularly in Hamburg, New York. His herd was one of the
finest in America and he was very proud of his Dexters."

I wish we could have known this man in our time.
Otto C. Jensen - "To a Grand Little Cow
From July 9th, 1962 ADCA Newsletter