News of the Day


by Craig Altschul

Bag Balm. It’s the ointment in a tin can with the cow’s head users claim helps all sorts of things, including sunburn, squeaky bed springs, dry and cracked fingers, diaper rash, and much more. Bag Balm is manufactured in Lyndonville by the family-owned Dairy Association Co., Inc., and run by six employees, two officers, and a sales force, reports the Brattleboro Reformer. It began its healing powers as a topical cream to soothe the irritated udders of cows in 1899. Since then, it’s traveled the world with Admiral Byrd to the North Pole, Allied troops in WWII, and recently to Ground Zero in New York for the paws of dogs searching the rubble. Even though humans now embrace it, dairy farmer Willie Ryan of Craftsbury still uses it for its original intended purpose on his cows. “…don’t ask me how (it works), but it does,” he said. Why should cows keep such a good thing to themselves?

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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