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“Hostie tells the story of a Holstein cow, the child who trained her for a 4-H project and their adventures competing at county and state fairs. Palmer’s husband, Jim, who grew up on a farm in Anderson County and raised a Holstein for a 4-H project, inspired the storyline. Like the main character in the book, he had to train Hostie to walk around the show ring, and prepare her for competition by bathing her, clipping excess hair, polishing her hooves and shampooing her tail’s switch. During fair week he had to take care of her at the fairgrounds. But for the book, the former nationally syndicated political cartoonist changed the main character into a redheaded girl named Sally. By story’s end, Sally and her family realize that the prize money won by Hostie over the years wouldn’t be enough to pay for Sally’s college education. Hostie is sold, something that happened to Jim in real life, too, Palmer said. In her book, Hostie is sold to (the) Happy Cow Farm. Jim Palmer became acquainted with Tom Trantham, owner of the real Happy Cow Farm in Pelzer in southern Greenville County, through Palmer’s work as the Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator at Clemson.”
From: Author Turns Husband’s 4-H Holstein Into Book
“While Kate Salley Palmer started her career as an author writing fictional stories and eventually turned to non-fiction, her latest offering is a little bit of both. Hostie is Palmer’s ninth book by Warbranch Press, the regional press she and husband Jim operate out of their home (in Clemson). The tale is about a prize-winning cow, a redheaded girl named Sally and their adventures competing in various county and state fairs. While Sally is a fictional character, the cow is real – and so were the adventures……Getting Hostie to the fair, taking care of her for an entire week and other adventures are shown in Kate’s illustrations.”