Name that cow: Gracie Belle selected as name for 14-foot tall dairy cow

After a long wait, the can't miss Holstein in front of the Lake County Farm Bureau office on Route 45 in Grayslake finally can be referred to by name.

Gracie Belle emerged as the modified winner among about 1,000 suggestions submitted the past month in the name the cow contest.

The 14-foot tall, 23-foot long, 1,000-pound Fiberglas dairy cow has captured the attention and good will of kids and selfie takers since she was installed in September.

Greg Koeppen, farm bureau executive director, dressed for the occasion in a Holstein shirt. He revealed the name just after noon during a live segment on WGN-TV. And yes, dozens of supporters celebrated with plenty of cow bells.

“It's been overwhelming to say the least,” he said of the interest.

Elsie was second and Milkshake was third. Several people submitted the name Gracie or Graycie because her home is in Grayslake.

“Our board of directors narrowed it down to Gracie,” Koeppen said. “However, we thought she needed a last name, too, and Belle was popular.”

The name loosely translated to graceful beauty, he added.

Koeppen was inspired to find a big mascot for Grayslake 20 years ago after seeing a similar model on a drive through Door County. The board embraced the idea as an educational opportunity for agriculture and dairy farming, which has all but disappeared in Lake County.

So many people suggested Gracie that the names were thrown into a hat, Koeppen said.

Tracey Campbell, a 23-year Grayslake resident and farm bureau member (a coincidence, not a requirement, according to Koeppen) was the winner. She suggested the cow looked graceful and beautiful in her submission.

“They liked the description that I gave,” she said. Campbell will get a $100 Culver's gift card and a basket filled with dairy products. Four runners up will get $25 gift cards each.

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