Do cows prefer metal or Mahler? Hard rock or hip hop? Indie rock or Irish folk?
They must love 1980s cow-punk, right?
The answer will soon be found as a call has been issued to musical people to compose something original for dairy-producing cows.
The BC Dairy Association (BCDA) has created a not-too-serious competition entitled Music Makes More Milk, which takes as its premise the observation among dairy farmers that cows respond positively to music.
"A happy cow is a productive cow," BCDA spokesperson Marcus Wong told the Times. "When cows are relaxed, they are able to do what they do best. This is about taking a lighthearted approach to that."
"Over time, B.C. dairy farmers get to know their cows well," said Dave Eto, executive director for the BCDA, in a press release. "They understand their behaviour, their moods, their likes and dislikes. One thing they've come to learn is that happy cows produce more milk."
Tom Hoogendoorn is an Agassiz dairy farmer whose herd will be the guinea pigs, so to speak, for the competition.
Music Makes More Milk contestants will use an online music composition tool to create original songs to play for the cows. The tunes of 15 semi-finalist contestants-determined through a public voting system-will have their compositions played directly to Hoogendoorn's cows.
The milk production from each day's music will be calculated to determine the grand prize winner, who will receive a trip for four to the 55th annual Grammy Awards next February. The winner will get four tickets to the event, four economy airfare tickets, two nights accommodation and $1,000 in spending money.
There are other prizes for all semi-finalists and finalists as well.
In order to prime the cows for the contest, an accomplished quartet of classically trained musicians-led by Coast Symphony Orchestra conductor Edette Gag-né-visited Hoogendoorn's Valedoorn Farm earlier this month and performed an "opening act" of Mozart numbers.
? The six-week contest launched on Oct. 10 at www. musicmakesmoremilk.com.