There used to be a saying about Vermont that it had more cows than people. That may no longer be true, what with the decline of the family dairy farm and the ongoing influx of flatlanders. Still, a new 2008 calendar with the silly name of "Haute Cowture" has fun with Vermonters' affection for the bucolic bovine. And the celebrities in its photos seem to have fun, well, being in the photos.
"Haute Cowture" is the brainchild of Sebastian Ryder, production manager of the Gratisky Calendar Company of Burlington. Her aim was to create a Vermont product her students at Champlain Valley Union High School could sell - instead of those ubiquitous, non-local chocolate bars - to raise money for performing arts projects. Ryder got an initial boost from a "stage mother," Elizabeth Skarie. She in turn prompted her husband, Jerry Greenfield, and his pal Ben Cohen to pose. The smiling duo ended up on the August page.
Other Vermont celebs include author Chris Bohjalian, filmmaker Nora Jacobson, Senator Bernie Sanders and real farmer/actor George Woodard. The best image - which made the cover as well as March - is of Burlington's Nan Patrick cozying up to a couple cows in a muddy farmyard. She's clad in a glamorous red evening gown, long black gloves, a huge grin and manure-covered boots; her cow friend is wearing a matching red rope.
The "Haute Cowture" calendar was shot by Jeff Clarke and designed by Craig Bailey of Random Precision Media. It retails for $15 and can be found at local bookstores and other outlets.