Choosing the perfect milking cow isn't hard if you follow some simple guidelines. Pick your cow based on how large your family is, how much milk you'll need and whether you want to make a profit from her offspring. Think about what you want to do with your ample supply of milk and how you will store it. After you purchase your cow, you'll find that having a family cow is a joyous experience enhanced by all the delicious dairy you get to enjoy. Originally published as "THE TRYING AND BUYING OF YOUR FIRST COW" in the FEBRUARY/MARCH 1992 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.