TAMPA, Fla. – When GTE Federal Credit Union Vice President of Real Estate Management Stephen Foster and his wife purchased a 3.5-acre property last year he had no idea that he'd be raising cows. "I'm very involved with my church and one of my friends at church happens to raise cows, so later that week I saw an ad `cows for sale' and figured why not," said Foster. "I had no prior experience in this but it has been great." The Fosters now have six female cows, one bull, and one calf who is about a year old. He says he's hoping in another four months they'll have another six calves. For Foster the cattle are just like his dog and African Grey bird -pets not food. "What surprised me is just how social and how curious they are," said Foster. "We were playing basketball and they just formed a semi circle around us just watching the game. No matter what we're doing they are interested in everything. When we open the blinds in the house they'll press their nose to the window and look in." Foster says it took some time to learn the ins and outs of raising cows, for example taking precautions during feeding time. "They love citrus and go crazy for grapefruit. They know when it's time to be fed and as soon as I start coming out they run right to me, so I have to be careful not to get stampeded because they are big animals," joked Foster. "They really are a lot of fun to have. We've got one cow named Peanut, the neighborhood kids named her calf Butter so when she has one we'll call it Jelly so we'll have a complete set." [email protected]

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