Go West Happy Cow
Go West Happy Cow is a documentary about two people, one dressed as a cow, traveling across the country promoting Wisconsin products. One of those items is Happy Cow beer, which is actually Spotted Cow from the New Glarus Brewing Co. The movie makes its premier Friday in Madison. Go West Happy Cow image

One movie that will premier this weekend is not part of the Wisconsin Film Festival, but is very Wisconsin.

The first showing of the documentary "Go West Happy Cow" will be Friday at the Stadium Bar, followed by showings in a barn in Deerfield and a bar in Sheboygan. The 95-minute movie was filmed last fall during a nine-day, 2,200-mile trip through eight states from Wisconsin to California.

It chronicles the adventures of two Wisconsinites, one dressed as a cow, promoting the contents of the 30-foot horse trailer they pulled behind their pickup truck: cheese from Meister Cheese Co. in Muscoda, meat products from Berge's Whitelaw Sausage Company in rural Manitowoc County, clothing from Sconnie Nation in Madison and the fictitious Happy Cow beer, played by Spotted Cow beer from New Glarus Brewing Co.

"It was about connecting with people across the country," said Derek Hildebrandt, a 39-year-old UW-Madison grad who grew up in Waunakee but now lives in Southern California. "I think Wisconsin people will appreciate it. They'll get what was behind the story."

The stars of the movie are Mike Tiboris, a former Bucky Badger mascot, and Kurt Jensen, who plays the Happy Cow. The duo grew up in Sheboygan, along with their sound man, Eric Hansen.

The $10,000 project, for which editing was completed Tuesday, included stops in Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Kansas City, Mo.

"I'm pretty excited about screening," Hildebrandt said. "Our main goal is to show it to as many people as possible."

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