Thursday, November 05, 2009

Moving to Facebook

Dear Friends,


We are moving to Facebook as Balabhadra finds it easier to make entries and has made many friends their. Please go to the following link to become a fan of our new page.

International Society for Cow Protection (ISCOWP) on Facebook

There is also a new link on the right column of this page that will enable you to become a fan.

Another page is the Facebook cause page of the International Society for Cow Protection. You can find that at:

Thank you so much and we hope to see you there.


ISCOWP Co-Managing Director

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ISCOWP News Volume 19 Issue 2

The latest ISCOWP News is just out and available online. Please click this link: Latest ISCOWP News Volume 9 Issue 2 to view it in PDF file. It will contain all the current news. All current members will be sent a hard copy. It is going to the printers Monday, a little late as their printing machines were not working. Thank you or your patience. Here is an excerpt from the editor’s column.

Dear ISCOWP Members,
This spring and summer has been full of activity at ISCOWP. Every farm experiences its busiest time during these seasons. Not only is there planting, harvesting, preserving of produce, cow care and fencing, but in our case there is also conducting tours for guests desiring to understand and experience cow protection. The touring experience is a new one for us and we are learning how to improve it with each tour.

Big Shyam, one of our most beloved oxen passed away in July. He was an older ox, 14 years old, as is half of our herd. His sweet and affectionate nature will be missed.

Please help us fix a barn water system breakdown (page 3) before winter when it will be most difficult to deal with. Thanking you in advance for your help,

Yours, Chayadevi

You can also read about the barn water crises and donate to it on our web page at: Emergency: Water for the Cows!

Krishna says: “I am the taste of water…” B.G. Chapter 7 Text 8

Praying that this letter finds you well,


Balabhadra & Chayadevi
(William E. Dove & Irene M. Dove)
ISCOWP Co-Managing Directors

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Big Shyam Passes Away

Govardhan presided over Big Shyam from the hay loft

Big Shyam 2 weeks before passing away

Big Shyam a year ago on pasture

Big Shyam a year ago

Big Shyam passed away Wednesday night July 1, 2009 at approximately 10:15 PM. Balabhadra and I went to visit him at 8:30 PM and spent about a half an hour with him. We felt the end was near, but we were feeling that for some time. We left as we saw the Brahmans coming into the barn. We knew he would have companionship as they always sat near him to keep him company. Balabhadra went back about 10:15 and found he had passed away.

It was approximately 2 weeks since he could not walk. During that entire time he had Govardhan Sila looking over him from the hay loft above him and Srila Prabhupada chanting continuously from a CD player. Chaitanya Bhagavat would sometimes place Govardhan Sila on his head and give him water in a squirt bottle from several holy rivers in India. Big Shyam would take the squirt bottle in his mouth and with his teeth squeeze the bottle to get the water.

The babies (Brahmans) would sit right next to him for hours at a time, sometimes licking him and he licking them in return. Soon after the babies came to the farm, Big Shyam was put in with them so he would not have to traverse the hilly terrain and he could have companionship. They all became fast friends.

Big Shyam had developed a hip and back leg problem in the fall of 2008. We discovered him limping and then brought him into the geriatric barn. The vet said he would either heal or get worse and there was nothing more he could do. Up until 2 weeks before his passing he was able to walk somewhat, even pasturing on the private pasture connected to the geriatric barn. We had been giving him various homeopathy medicines that seemed to help and aspirin. He was lucky that he had the Brahmans as companions, which helped him accept his limited physical abilities. He was 14 years old and one of the older members of the herd.

Big Shyam was known for his huge size, (1 ton and 6 feet tall) and affectionate nature. He was like a huge teddy bear. Never was he pushy or aggressive, except when it was time for his grain, even though he could easily get away with it due to his size. A friend to all, Big Shyam will be missed.

He was adopted by Kirtana-rasa d., Beth, Clair Chaitanya, Nathan Kesava, and Oliver Rupa

Submitted by Chayadevi

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ISKCON Farms 2009

The ISKCON Farm power point presentation presented to the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON at their Mayapur meetings in February 2009 can be viewed HERE

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ISCOWP May Update Letter

Dear Friends,

Hare Krishna!

Sorry our blog has been inactive for a few months. To catch up we are now posting the May ISCOWP Update letter

Madhava is carrying out the “haw” command given by Balabhadra while Navadwipa from MISCOWP looks on.

Balabhadra showed Navadwipa from MISCOWP a few pointers in ox training with Madhava who remembered his commands after 6 months of no ox training activity. He was rusty at first, but got better and better during the session. Balabhadra was enthusiastic with Madhava’s performance. He is going to continue training him and his partner Kesava as well as the Brahmans Sri and Priya. Madhava’s cooperative behavior put no physical strain on Balabhadra’s health.

The cows are now on the green, lush pastures of spring. The weather is cool with intermittent rainfall. This is one of the most enjoyable times for cows. There are hardly any flies and the fresh grass is such a delight after months of hay. Like all good things, spring will end and the heat of summer will come too soon.

Jayanti massaging Priya.

Kanti and Jack with the Brahmans.

Jayanti, a cowherd from New Talavan Farm, came to visit the ISCOWP farm and cows. Jayanti is not only a hands-on cowherd, but also the efficient record keeper of New Talavan’s herd of 98. We discussed cow care, the obstacles as well as the rewards.

Kanti and Jack, members of ISCOWP, came to visit for a few days. They stayed in the cabin and had this to write about their experience: “Thank you so much for the opportunity to share your little corner of the spiritual world for a few days. These are the experiences we carry in our hearts while working day to day – the cows peacefully grazing on the ridge with the sun going down behind the hill. We appreciate the work and dedication you all put in to create this sheltering environment for the cows.”

Rasikananda came to film Balabhadra and the cows for the film Lost Village. The Following two paragraphs are from the film’s synopsis.

For the first time in human history, a smaller proportion of the global population now lives in rural areas, states the United Nations statistics from June 2006. The twentieth century witnessed the rapid urbanization of the world’s population. As a result, villages have been eclipsed in importance, as units of human society, settlement and traditions. This issue is being dealt with by the character based documentary Lost Village.
Lost Village aims to explore that simple way of life that is crucial to the solution of ecological problems and social dilemmas. “Is that simple village life destined to die?” is the call of millions throughout the world.

The trailers, previous to Balabhadra’s participation, are available at

Monoram and Radha Krishna, residents of the ISKCON farm in Hungary, came for a visit and appreciated the cows and atmosphere at the ISCOWP farm. They are traveling about to describe and inform audiences about their progressive self-sufficient farm

Staff Update
Balabhadra is making slow progress towards increased strength and well-being since his heart attack and inability to use his legs. He has stopped taking some medications and feels better for it. Back and leg problems are on going but we have some treatments scheduled soon and we will see if they help improve his range of painless movement. Lakshmi’s hand is improving but she does not yet have full use of it. She is expecting her baby in mid June. Despite our limited physical abilities, farm activities are accomplished. Janardana and his wife Mercy come several times a week to repair fencing, hang new gates and do general farm work. Seedlings are planted in the greenhouse and we are getting ready to put seeds and seedlings in the earth soon as our last frost is May 15 or 20.

We now have a sign at the head of the lane so you, are guests, can find us. After a mile down the lane, there is a large sign that tells you that you have found ISCOWP. We thank my brother Henry for the original logo design that is very attractive on the sign. Previously, we were told it was hard to find us. Recent guests say that the signage makes finding us very easy. More signage is needed about the farm that we are presently working on.

Praying that this letter finds you well,

(Irene M. Dove)
ISCOWP Co-Managing Director

The herd grazing on the lush, green, spring pastures

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

GBC Farm Resolutions

We wish to thank all the ISKCON farms that fulfilled the farm surveys that we sent out. About 30 farms responded. The information gleaned from these surveys were the facts and figures that made up the body of the power point presentation given to the GBC body. The GBC farm resolutions were left for voting at this time. Syamasundara prabhu (European Minister for Cow Protection and Agriculture and head of the Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla) developed the presentation and gave it in Balabhadra's absence. Due to illness, Balabhadra could not attend the GBC meetings. In future blogs we will present some of facts and figures from the farm surveys.

310. GBC Participation in Farm Projects [Guideline]

Whereas ISKCON farms and farmers often struggle to make their operations viable;Whereas ISKCON farms, cow protectors, farmers, and those engaged in rural development often feel unsupported by ISKCON management;

Whereas the successful establishment of varnasrama and rural life was a key concern of Srila Prabhupada;

Whereas the Vedic system is supportive of agricultural and rural communities;Whereas there has been a global decline in the general status of farm projects;

Whereas ISKCON farm projects in which GBC members put energy are often successful;

RESOLVED:That all GBC members, as far as possible, commit themselves to spend 10% of their time helping to develop farm projects:

by giving 10% of their classes on the importance of farm development and cow protection
and/or by spending 10% of their time on a farm or farms to encourage the farm devotees

311. Purchasing from ISKCON Farms and Farmers [Guideline]

Whereas ISKCON farms and farmers often struggle to make their operations viable;Whereas the majority of temples and centers do not buy produce from their local farm, farmers, or goshalla;

Whereas in times of global economic crises, by not buying from our local farms there is danger of high prices and food shortage due to dependence on outside sources which are in turn dependent on oil-consuming transport companies;

Whereas other religious groups successfully purchase from their own projects thereby presenting an ecologically-friendly, self-sufficient lifestyle to the world; Whereas it was Srila Prabhupada’s desire that we, ISKCON, present an ecologically-friendly, self-sufficient lifestyle to the world “independent from outside help;”

Whereas the Vedic system was supportive of agricultural and rural communities;Whereas there has been a decline in the development of ISKCON farms and most remaining farms are struggling;

RESOLVED: That all ISKCON Deity kitchens, temples, restaurants, and relevant projects should purchase, wherever possible, produce, flowers, and milk products from ISKCON farms in their local region up to a ceiling of their current purchases, provided they are of reasonable quality and can be afforded. Where practical, the ISKCON temples, restaurants, or projects concerned will explore the possibility of purchasing land and making it available to farmers to cultivate. Additionally, temples should make available, at a reasonable cost, space for farm produce to be sold.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


We have some sad news to tell you. Nanda passed away Sunday evening the 15th of February 2009. He was fourteen years old. The picture attached was taken in the afternoon of February 15th. As you can see he appears well. What we understand happened is that he lost his balance, due to his ongoing leg and back problems, fell and then could not get up. Such a huge ox, 7 feet at his shoulder, can not last long in a lying position due to much stress on the internal organs.

I had checked the barn in the late afternoon of the 15th, and everyone was fine. We have concluded it happened in the night as we found him the following morning lying in the barn; his soul had already left his body. The other cows seemed calm, like they had already accepted the fact that he was gone.

We are thankful he went quickly as with his ailments he could have lingered a long time because he was healthy otherwise. During last summer, he fell once and could not get up. It was during the day and on pasture. We tried to flip him, pull him, etc. but he could not move. We then went for help and when we arrived later we could not find him. He was found happily pasturing under the nearby trees. That time he was able to get up.

Since he was 3 years old he has had leg and back problems. Throughout those years we have tried different treatments and medicines like homeopathy and acupuncture. These did seem to help and therefore give him a quality life and a longer life. He was able to pasture and mingle with his herd mates till his last hours.

Jaya and Nanda were an ox team. They were named after Jayananda, a very inspiring and pure disciple of Srila Prabhupada! Both Jaya and Nanda have been gentle and gentlemanly despite their huge size (half Simmental). It was a pleasure to be around Nanda as he was never rowdy and aggressive. We will be greatly miss him due to his brahminical nature.

He had the priviledge to be adopted by the same adopter for 4 years and another adopter for 2 years. All glories to Nanda!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

February Update

February 11, 2009

Dear Friends,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you for your support. Herein is the February update letter.

I (Chayadevi) have been replacing Balabhadra and Lakshmi in the everyday care of the cows in the barn. Ray has been coming almost every day to help me and he has been a tremendous help especially with the heavier tasks. I have finally learned how to pitch hay more efficiently than ever before :).

Now we are having some warm weather, but we had a full month of very cold weather, sometimes -8. There was also lots of ice and snow. I wanted to get you all pictures of this weather but it was a challenge just to get the tasks done in the freezing temperatures.

The water system broke down in the geriatric barn on one of the very cold days. Tejo, our devotee plumber, came and worked on it in the freezing cold for hours. He was very determined to make sure the cows would have water. He achieved a temporary fix that will have to be dealt with when the temperatures are consistently warm.

Everyone is happy with plenty to eat and a warm sunny winter day after freezing temperatures.

It is quite amazing how the cows do not seem to feel the cold, even the Brahmans. They have all grown their thick furry coats. As long as they have plenty to eat and drink, they do fine. Of course, nothing compares to grazing on green pastures. I have noticed that in the very cold weather they eat and drink more. Due to the presently warm weather, they are now in the barnyard enjoying the sun and warmth. Since the lower barnyard was covered with snow and ice, they did not venture beyond the immediate barn area for a month. I do expect that we will get cold weather again before the official winter season is over, but the warmth is a nice reprieve for everyone.

Winter temperatures in the barnyard.

Balaram receiving some love from Madhava on a warm sunny winter day

Health Update
As receivers of the previous updates, you know that Balabhadra had a heart attack and a leg and knee problem that prevented him from walking for over a month. Our recent visit to the heart doctor gave us some information. He has coronary artery disease. One of the main arteries on one side of his heart is blocked. It is very thin in one area and then shortly after is completely blocked. Because the other arteries are in very good condition and the other side of his heart in good condition, he has done very well for so long without incident. Now he is on a cocktail of heart drugs that he seems to be tolerating well and keeps his high blood pressure down.

Due to his acupuncture treatments, he is now walking for short periods of time and short distances. There is still a degree of pain. We have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on February 18. Due to the help of Dr. Piyush Gupta, we have gotten an MRI of his hips and knee and this appointment. Now we have quite a collection of MRIs and X-rays to show the surgeon, since up until now we have been sent for tests but not been given a diagnosis. We will have more to tell you after this appointment.

You also know that our daughter Lakshmi broke her wrist and is now wearing hardware on her wrist and arm. She is the one that usually takes care of the database, monthly letters, gifts, etc. The bones are healing very well and the pain has decreased greatly. A few days ago, the stitches came out. She is now holding down her meals as before the pain medicine made her nauseous. She has the use of only her left hand. Maybe in 3 to 6 weeks the hardware will come off and then she will be in a splint, still with restricted movement. Her pregnancy is progressing nicely and according to her OBGYN her baby is in good health despite all the trauma.

Our Services to You
We want to thank all of you for all the letters of concern and encouragement. We know this time will pass, as everything does, but it sure is helpful to hear encouraging words from all of you. Please be patient with our services to you, monthly update letters, gifts, etc. I have been putting most of my energies into taking care of the cows and now I hope to see to some of the paper work since lakshmi and Balabhadra are feeling a little bit better. As you may have guessed I have never had the inclination or physical capabilities for this part of the service and at 63, I thank Krishna that I have been able to do it. It is actually fun, I just wish I was a bit younger :).

Praying that this letter finds you well,

Coming back from serving the cows at the barn

Your Servant,
(Irene M. Dove)
ISCOWP Co-Managing Director

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Speed Bumps in Life's Journey

On January 13th about 6:30 PM, Lakshmi was walking over to her house after working at her computer doing some ISCOWP paper work. She was only about 100 yards from our house when she slipped on some ice and fell, breaking her wrist. Rudra, our farm dog, kept pulling her in the direction of our house as she was sobbing and in great pain. I still was not able to drive due to some medical difficulties you read about in previous updates, so I called the neighbor and he took Lakshmi and my wife Chayadevi to the ER at the hospital in Moundsville, about 10 miles away.

Not only were we concerned about the wrist, but Lakshmi was just going into her 5th month of pregnancy so we were worried about the baby.

The wrist was x-rayed and indeed it was broken. The doctor monitored the heart beat of the baby and the baby was alright. They didn’t return home until almost midnight.

Two days later Lakshmi was scheduled for a cast to be put on the broken wrist. Again my wife and Lakshmi were driven to the hospital only to find out that it is a very bad break and that she would need an operation to properly set the broken bone. The operation was set for the next day.

Because of Lakshmi being pregnant it was deemed too dangerous for her to receive general anesthesia as it would adversely affect the baby. The 2 hour operation was done with a local anesthesia and screws were set in her wrist and arm with metal rods holding the bones together above her arm....quite a site to see.

There is no cast, just a gauze dressing which is changed daily and her arm cleaned with Hydrogen Peroxide. Painful and no fun at all for Lakshmi. She is a tough young lady and toughing her way through everything.

Krsna Rupa comes everyday to cook for Lakshmi and do some cleaning for her. Thank you Krsna Rupa. Gintas is driving Lakshmi and myself to our Drs appointments and helps with some errands in town. Thank you Gintas. Chaitanya Bhagavat was driving us around and helping in the barn until he had a hernia operation. Thank you Chaitanya and we pray you recover well.

Laksmi will be out of commission for the next 6 to 8 weeks as that is when the hardware is scheduled to be removed. It is on the right arm and wrist. After that she will still not be able to do as she has before for awhile.

For many years Lakshmi has done our data base, monthly letter update, monthly gift preparation and packaging. Part of her service was to notify donors about their total yearly donations for tax purposes. Needless to say we are running behind on everything in the office. So we humbly ask that you be patient with us and we will get the imformation to you as soon as possible.......hopefully within the next week. Thank you very much.

So, Chayadevi is now taken care of the feed out for the cows and making sure the water troughs are de-iced. Ray, a local friend, comes up every other day to help with the cows as well. Chaydevi is still helping me as well as playing nurse to Lakshmi and trying to keep up with ISCOWP office work. She is definitely going full steam ahead.

I have been seeing an acupuncturist. Slowly but surely the pain in my leg is diminishing. This week I have been able to take short walks around the house without too much pain. Each day seems to be getting better and better, and I am actually doing a little bit around the house to help Chayadevi.

Today I actually drove from our house over to Lakshmi's house and went into the little barn and saw the Brahmans for the 1st time in 2 months. Needless to say I was very excited. The babies were very glad to see me and started licking my hands and face.

The Acupuncturist feels that by mid March I will be able to do some work in the garden department. I have an appointment with the heart Dr. on February 3rd, so no new news on the heart now.

We would like to thank all of you for your kind words, letters, and prayers during these speed bumps in life’s journey. We couldn’t take care of the cows without your support on all levels

Monday, January 05, 2009

Balabhadra Health Update

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

The many letters, prayers, and phone calls have been a great source of comfort for Balabhadra. Thank you again and again. Our hearts are touched with your kindness.

Balabhadra is now at home. It was concluded that heart surgery was not necessary. He has been given many medicines to take for his heart and high blood pressure. In one month he is to meet with the cardiologist again to see how he is doing. He is not feeling so good from the medicines but we are told that his body will adjust within a few days. His heart was not at all damaged by the heart attack.

The test results on his liver came back normal.

The whole situation with his leg has not been resolved as the neurologist did not come into the hospital on the weekend. Our general doctor there gave us the name of the expert neurologist in the area and wants us to call him and get an appointment as soon as possible. The fact that he has been immobile and in pain for so long is not good for his present and future health.

Right now he is sleeping soundly which he wasn't able to do in the hospital. The pain in his leg comes and goes in severity. He is scheduled for the acupuncturist in a few days and hopefully he will be feeling well enough to have the treatment as it gave him much relief.

Balabhadra is receiivng phone calls at our home phone: 304-843-1658. I am hoping he wil feel well enough to access on his laptop his own email at . You can still also write to and I will make sure he will receive it.

If you could continue to pray for his improved general health and that his leg situation is resolved soon so that he may be able again to walk amongst the cows.

Your servant,

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Balabhadra's Health

Written by: Chayadevi (Balabhadra's Wife)

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

We would like to thank all of you for your phone calls, messages and prayers. It means a lot to Balabhadra.I will try to explain as simply as possibly what has been happening with Balabhadra's health.

Balabhadra has always had back problems for over 40 years
(he is approaching his 63 birthday in April). He was always able to get over any flare ups and continue to physically work very hard. His whole life has been full of physical work and in his devotee years (initiated in 1969) mostly centered on farm life and the cows. This last year has been different. He has collapsed about four times and his recovery has been slow, like two weeks or more for each collapse. His visits to doctors, MRI, etc. revealed herniated disks, moderate spinal stenosis and some other deterioration but nothing that was considered an emergency surgery candidate. Some meds, instructions how to go about his activities, and physical therapy was recommended. At the same time it was found that the pain he was experiencing in his left knee was a result of very little cartilage on one side of the knee. Because he was favoring the other knee this was also negatively affecting his back problems.

Five weeks ago he was in physical therapy to strengthen his left knee and felt a tinkling and burning in his right leg. He told the therapist and was told to work through it. The following day he could not walk, the pain in his right leg was so severe. We went to the emergency room and were told he sprained his knee and the pain should decrease in a few days. The next five weeks were spent trying to get the state clinic we are a member of to understand this is not a sprain because the pain is severe and not getting less intense. After being prescribed more meds, we were told they could do nothing for us. The third week we then tried an acupuncturist who gave Balabhadra some relief but was scheduled to go on vacation for the next two weeks. The acupuncturist felt positive he could relieve the pain with more treatments.

Last Tuesday we were able to get a treatment at the acupuncturist and for the first time in five weeks Balabhadra could lay in bed without constant pain. We were very happy thinking we were on the right path to recovery. The past five weeks he had been bedridden, his only activity trips to the bathroom which is about 15 feet away from the bed. The pain became most intense when standing upright. Then Wednesday night he went to the bathroom and I heard a loud noise, as if something was knocked over. I opened the bathroom door and found him lying on the floor, his forehead bloody. He fell and hit his head on the ceramic floor. He was conscious and I tried to help him move back to the bedroom. Halfway there he began to slowly fall from me onto the floor. On the floor his neck began to arch and his eyes began to roll to the back of his head. He was moaning and he seemed to be leaving me and this world.

From caring for dying cows and other animals, this is what I have seen before the soul leaves the body. I started lightly slapping him and calling to him, he came back to consciousness and I called 911, turned up the volume of the Prabhupada bhajan tape we had playing and gave him rescue remedy. At one point he began to lose consciousness again but by talking to him he stayed conscious.

The ambulance came and brought us to the hospital where he was hooked up to a lot of wires and drips and monitors. It was decided he should stay overnight since some of the readings were questionable. The next morning we were told the blood tests indicated he had a heart attack and it was ongoing. That was why they were checking on him constantly and readjusting all the drips. It was a mild heart attack and his heart was not damaged. Eventually the heart would stabilize or something bad would happen. We were told that people who have this type of heart attack usually have one again within 6 months, and then it might be more severe. It was decided that he needed a procedure (angioplast ?) in which the doctor goes in through a vein in the groin and takes pictures of the heart to see if and where any blockage might be. In the meantime the blood tests found that there is something not quite right with his liver.

His heart stabilized by the following morning (yesterday) and he had the procedure. Problems were found which needed some consultation with the expert cardiologist in the area. We are now waiting to hear what the doctors recommend as to the next step for his heart, more test results on what is up with his liver, and a report from the neurologist as to what is causing the pain in his left leg and hip.

The good news is that since the one treatment by the acupuncturist he has been off most of the meds for his leg pain and is experiencing far less pain in his leg and hip. His heart remains stable and he is off the drips. The other good news is that he is hearing from devotees their concern and that they will pray for him. He is still in the hospital and has been receiving calls at (304) 843 3301. You can also write him a note at and I will print it out and give it to him. It really does mean a lot to him when he hears from the devotees. We are now just waiting for information. It may be a few days as it is the weekend and a holiday here.

Balabhadra is realizing he is at a crossroads in his life. He no longer has the facility to be the workaholic "earthworm" and has to now become a "bookworm." With your prayers and blessings and Krishna's desire he will recover and in the years to come will engage himself more in speaking about cow protection with the purpose to encourage others and fulfill his eternal debt to Srila Prabhupada who has saved us all.

Your servant,Chayadevi (Balabhadra's wife)