Meet the Cows and Learn About
Tomten's Cow Rescue & Adoption Initiative

We always said we would rescue until the cows come home. Well, now they have.
And we will keep on rescuing until we bring as many home as we realistically can.

Long before we bought our New Hampshire farm and sanctuary property, this beautiful homestead was home to cows. In fact, when our realtor took us to see it for the first time, a local farmer's Holstein heifers were blissfully spending the summer in its fields. Less than four months later, we owned those fields and we opened our gates to welcome some lucky cows home.

Summer Residents, Pre-Tomten Ownership of the Farm

Gideon   Rescued!
(Tomten Cow Initiative Rescue)

First, there was Gideon...

While cows are a species that are often overlooked for rescue (but no less important), we were unexpectedly given the opportunity to rescue this beautiful big-brown-eyed jersey bull calf (now known as Gideon). A by-product of the dairy industry who would normally have already shipped to slaughter but hadn't gone yet, this bull calf was our first introduction to bovines.

The local dairy farmer who owned him agreed to hold him for a week to give us a chance to fundraise—not just for the per-pound price the farmer would have received for Gideon at the processing plant, but for a good part of the future expenses that our Cow Rescue & Adoption Initiative would incur.

With cooperation and commitment from this farmer to work with us to facilitate the protection of more at-risk cows in the future, the enthusiastic approval of Tomten's Board of Directors and a promise from you, our generous supporters to help with future funding, Gideon's Gifts Cow Rescue & Adoption Initiative was born.

Gideon has grown from an adorable bull calf into a handsome young steer. He is in lifetime sanctuary here at the farm and is available for sponsorship.


Giddy Over Gideon

Ambassador Gideon

Marilyn MOOnroe   Rescued!
(Tomten Cow Initiative Rescue)

"Really, cows aren't much bigger than dogs."

Although we rescued Gideon, we had never saved a commercial dairy cow before, an animal who spends her years giving just about everything to us, her milk, her babies and eventually, her life. It was a new venture and I was cautious but so very excited. Originally known simply by her farm tag number (#733), this senior girl was destined to go to slaughter.

When I first met her, #733 was reserved but polite. I wondered if she would indeed settle in enough to be adoptable or perhaps enough to be an ambassador for other seniors like her and remain on the farm. Upon pickup, the farmer must have seen my doubt as he slapped my back and said, "She'll come around for you." I wasn't too sure but I certainly hoped so and he was right.

Ten year-old, Marilyn MOOnroe has, in fact, settled in just fine. Her bio photo (right) was taken after just a few days at the farm. I sat down, back against her warm side to write a Tomten Facebook post. Contentedly she chewed her cud, closed her eyes as together we enjoyed the warm air and the beauty of the farm approaching sunset. Shortly after that photo was taken, we (the Board of Directors), agreed that she had worked hard and deserved a carefree retirement. She should stay in lifetime sanctuary here at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary as a companion to Gideon.

#733 would not be here without our supporters who, as with most of our animals, helped us come up with her new name. No matter that she is not a blond, Marilyn MOOnroe truly is a star.

Even when not producing milk or calves, senior cows have a hearty appetite and eat a lot of hay. Marilyn is available for Sponsorship.


Marilyn, So Much More Than Just a Number.

With Gideon

Greta GarMoo   Rescued!
(Tomten Cow Initiative Rescue)

Available for TAdoption or Off-Farm Adoption


Dairy cow #100 spent her entire life on a small farm (small VS a Big AG farm), getting hooked up to a milking machine and giving her all twice a day so that we can enjoy milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, lattes and more. She produced approximately 50,000 pounds of milk  (translation, over 5500 gallons) and gave birth to four babies—long ago removed from her side; the males headed for slaughter, the females destined to live the life of their mother.

At seven years old, #100's milk production had gradually been declining and she was no longer contributing to the farm that supported her. In fact, she was barely supporting herself. The cows in the herd where this girl came from live years past the average lifespan of a dairy cow. They are one of the few farms left who still offer their cows the opportunity to go out each day on pasture, feeling the sun on their backs and the earth beneath their feet. And while the owners care and are willing to work with us, they are still a business, and they, like many New England dairy farms are struggling to just stay in business. To do that, they had to replace Greta GarMOO (#100's new Tomten name) with a younger, higher producing milker. It's the sad cost of dairy—hard on the animals and hard on the people who house them.

We think the cow originally called #100, now known as Greta GarMOO deserves a nice retirement, don't you? Greta is available for both TAdoption (our on-farm sanctuary program) and Traditional Off-Farm Adoption.  Want to know more? MOOve on to linked pages for details.

Available for Off-Farm Adoption  OR  Choose the TAdoption Option
and Keep Greta & Marilyn Together in Sanctuary

Humphrey MOOgart   Rescued!
(Tomten Cow Initiative Rescue)

Available for Off-Farm Adoption


Beautifully marked, big brown eyes,
sweet personality


Together with you at our side, Tomten Farm and Sanctuary is making a difference to animals in need, one life at a time. For this little life, that is all the difference he needed.

This beautiful Jersey/Holstein Cross, named Humphrey MOOgart by our supporters, is a by-product of the dairy industry. He was saved from imminent slaughter and is now ready and eager to find dreams come true.

Castrated, debudded and up-to-date on his first vaccinations, Humphrey is super friendly, super cute and super smart.

Yes, we and our generous supporters managed to save Humphrey, but our jobs are not done yet. Please spread the news and help us find him the home he deserves. Once adopted, his space opens up to allow to save yet another at-risk calf. Certainly someone needs a magnificent moo and Humphrey IS magnificent!  If you think that might be you, see Off-Farm Adoption details here.

From crate to great

Very social,  plays well with others

Introducing Tomten's
Animal Sponsorship Program

Sponsor a Cow
Become an Honorary Tomten

When you sponsor Gideon or Marilyn MOOnroe, you become an Honorary Tomten, helping us provide peace, protection and possibility while getting to know "your" cow—even if you live thousands of miles away.

Your one-year Cow Sponsorship gives Honorary Tomtens an opportunity to make a direct impact on the lives of their favorite animal. You'll receive lots of updates beyond our traditional public posts. And while you may not be able to be here personally, we will make sure you feel as though you are with regular photos (including a few surprise videos) sent to your phone or email all year long!

Here's How Sponsorship Works:
Sponsors make a one-time annual tax-deductible donation of 50% of a cow's total estimated yearly care expenses. Tomten Farm and Sanctuary applies those funds to the daily care of the sanctuary cow you choose to help. Upon receipt of your donation, TF&S removes the cow from our "animals available for sponsorship" list. Then comes the exciting part: our resident Tomten waves his magic wand and makes you an Honorary Tomten!! Next, we announce the exciting news to TF&S supporters via social media including Facebook, Instagram and this website. (To ensure your privacy, we will share your first name, last initial only). We also encourage you to share the story behind your sponsorship choice.  And, if you like, you can also send a photo of yourself to post on this page with "your" cow. We guarantee that whomever your choose—Gideon or Marilyn MOOnroe—will be genuinely  MOOved by your big heart and generosity.

Sound Good?
Your one-time tax-deductible annual donation of $1400 will sponsor a Tomten cow and you will receive Honorary Tomten status for one year. That amount is your half of the expenses incurred to support that animal—your special gift to Gideon or Marilyn MOOnroe. The other half is paid by a second Honorary Tomten (Sponsor) or Tomten Farm and Sanctuary if no one else cares to step up for that animal.

However you look at it—$116.66 per month, $26.92 per week or $3.83 per day—sponsorship is a fun and oh-so-gratifying way to provide peace, protection and possibility to animals in need, making a real difference in their day-to-day lives all year long.

Want to Start Today?
Simply go to the Donate button at the bottom of this column and indicate you want to donate $1400.  Be sure to tell us which cow you want to sponsor* and our Tomten will wave his magic wand making you an Honorary Tomten this very day!

More Ways to Help
You can also donate as little as $10 per month toward supporting any animal (not just cows) that you choose OR donate to our General Fund. We offer all kinds of other tax-deductible donation options.
Click here for details.

*Sorry, we know everyone has their favorites but since each sponsorship is for 50% of care, only two Honorary Tomtens per cow per year are available and are selected in the order they were received. Regarding our other cows: Senior cow Greta GarMOO is available for TAdoption or Off-Farm Adoption only. Humphrey MOOgart is available for Off-Farm  Adoption only.

Donate Now


Gideon's Gifts
Cow Rescue & Adoption Initiative

A Unique Partnership with the Goal of Saving Slaughter-Bound Calves and Cows.

Gideon, Tomten Farm and Sanctuary’s Cow Ambassador

Gideon, our first Cow Initiative bull calf rescue and Tomten Farm and Sanctuary's Resident Cow Ambassador.

Who are our Farmer Partners?
We believe that transparency is very important as are open minds, courtesy and respect. You should know that we have developed friendships with a few New England dairy farmers who shall remain anonymous.

Our unique, respectful and unlikely connection between farmer and rescuer began in 2017 when we saved Gideon, one of several Jersey bull calves scheduled to go to slaughter (the norm for male calves since they can't be bred, produce milk and earn their keep like the females). We had not yet saved any bovines at Tomten and thought, "let's try this."  We made the decision to try working together for possibilities, (dare I say, solutions), that work for all— most importantly for the cows.

Developing a relationship with a small farm and a farmer has been interesting, challenging and rewarding on many levels. We obviously look at things, and animals and life much differently but there are surprisingly more similarities in our views and our farms than one would think. I am not naive, there are so very many differences as well but I realize, it is not always black or white. That first farmer friendship has since led to a second—the farmer who allowed us to save the life of Humphrey MOOgart and that of Elliot who now resides at Unity Farm Sanctuary.

How Can We Work with "Them"?
Creating an ever-widening circle of contacts helps Tomten establish a rapport with people in the agricultural industry who care about their dairy cows but, as with most struggling small farmers, do not have the means to support non-producing animals. These small farms are not Big Ag. They take care of  their animals but they are cows, are not pets. Those of you who are familiar with the Tomten Farm and Sanctuary journey know that we have done well in the past with such undertakings and it has helped save lives, spread knowledge and combat misconceptions. The truth is that hearing each others' views, helps us all find a common ground…one that is never achieved through finger pointing, name calling or blind contempt for any group or individual. I cautiously, but optimistically, enter these partnerships hoping it does not injure the reputation of either their farms or our Sanctuary, hoping all of us can see the big picture and the potential positive impact it has.

We value our relationships with these hard-working people who are willing to open their minds, hearts and farms to help us make a difference. While we may not agree with general industry practices, they are stepping outside of the norm to work with us. We all contribute to the world around us. Many of us have consumed animal products at some point in our lives and we are all at different places on our journey. Their cooperation allows us to save lives, build awareness and, hopefully, promote change.

I hope somehow our experience will encourage other farms and rescue organizations to also work together. The need is there. For knowledge, for options, for life.

Where Are They Now??
Meet the Adopters of the calves who pioneered our Initiative!

As with any innovative new program, we're sure you probably have questions. That's why we put together an F
AQ page about our Tomten Farm and Sanctuary Cow Rescue and Adoption Initiative. Or, if you prefer, contact us.

here to read more about the mounting challenges faced by NH dairy farmers.


Did You Know...

While everyone is at a different place on this journey and we practice a judgment-free philosophy at Tomten, we encourage thoughtful consumption and would be remiss if we did not share these stats from the NCBA (National Cattlemen's Beef Association). Please consume thoughtfully, responsibly and kindly. Be aware and do whatever your heart compels you to for the animals "we" eat.
  • U.S. commercial slaughter in 2016 was 30.5 million head
  • The amount of beef consumed in the U.S. (i.e. purchased by consumers in foodservice and retail) in 2016 was 25.668 billion pounds
  • The amount of beef consumed in the U.S. Per Capita was 55.7 lbs 

And all of it starts with little calves like Humphrey.

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Tomten Farm and Sanctuary
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