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'She's really loving' | The mooooving story of Phoebe the calf and her student caregivers

Phoebe's mother wasn't providing her milk. A teacher found a purpose for the young cow.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Students in Rock Hill Schools' Career and Technical Education program have a unique opportunity thanks to a moving decision made by one of their teachers.

Actually -- it's more of a mooooooving story, about a calf named Phoebe and a teacher named Cameron Ramsey.

"A couple of weeks ago, around Christmas time on my personal part-time farm, we had a calf whose mother was not providing any milk for her," she said, referring to Phoebe. "So I thought it was a great idea for my students, to use her as a teaching tool."

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Four of her students, who are also in the Future Farmers of America program, take care of Phoebe's daily needs. Kaydin Hege, a junior at Northwestern High School, said it took a little time to connect with this budding bovine.

"She was skittish at first, but we were able to feed her the first time we met her, and she's great," Hege said. "Our connection is really growing."

Jacob Boatwright, a senior in the district, said caring for Phoebe is a rewarding experience.

"It's a responsibility, but it's a nice one to have," he said.

Phoebe also has neighbors of her own: a couple of chickens, a rooster, and she shares a pen with goats Fern and Alice. While Fern is a bit on the shy side, Alice had no problem trying to crash WCNC Charlotte reporter Richard DeVayne's interview.

It may be all fur and feather and fun, but caring for Phoebe requires teamwork throughout the day.

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"Someone will come out here in the morning and we kind of alternate coming out here at night," Boatwright said.

But the task of buddying up with this bovine has its benefits.

"She's really loving," said Hege, "she's grown fond of the four of us."

If you're worried about Phoebe's final fate, rest assured she's not bound for the grocery store.

"She's going to go back to Mrs. Ramsey," Hege said of Phoebe, "she's not going to be sold for any meat or anything so I'm thankful for that. She'll go back on a farm, on a pasture, and live a happy life."

Contact Richard DeVayne at rdevayne@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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