21st July 1892

Record-breaking Jersey cow finds fame

Channel Island cows are renowned for the quality of their milk, so it’s perhaps not surprising that the top butter producer in the whole world was part of a Jersey herd – it just so happened that Signal’s Lily Flagg (for that was the cow’s name) didn’t live in Jersey, but in Huntsville, Alabama.

During just one year, she produced more than her own weight in butter: Lily weighed 430kg, and she produced 475kg of butter.

A record breaker

Jersey cows have earned themselves a reputation in North American farming circles since one of them produced 352kg of butter over the course of 12 months, which was a significant step up from the previous record, 219kg, set in 1816 and considered, at the time, unbeatable. So, Lily Flagg’s achievement in breaking all known records made her something of a bovine celebrity, and she was greatly sought after for public appearances, including at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Although she was sold at the Fair and moved to a new farm, the area where she set her record remembers her to this day. The town of Lily Flagg may now be part of Huntsville, but the local swimming team is still known as the Lily Flagg Cows.


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