Kiley Putnam

A Leap Year Surprise!

We like to highlight that our farmers work hard every day, 365 days a year—but in 2016, they are actually hard at work for 366 days because 2016 is a leap year!

Today is February 29th, a day that only comes every four years.

As you can imagine, it’s quite rare to be born on February 29th. Less than one-tenth of a percent of the population is born on that day and a person born on a leap day is sometimes called a “leapling.”

It turns out there are two “leaplings” at Conant’s Riverside Farm in Richmond, Vermont.

6th generation farmer Dave Conant is celebrating his 64th birthday along with Leaper, a calf born early this morning.

leaper & Dave


Dave says when he doesn’t have an actual birthday, “I start celebrating around the 27th and right through the 3rd and try to receive gifts from anyone who is willing! When it’s the actual day it seems like for everyone else except myself it’s special, so I celebrate with them.”

There was a time when Dave’s son Ransom, had 28 birthdays and Dave had only had 14.

“I’m celebrating my 16th birthday today,” said Dave.

Why do we have leap year?

A year is defined as the time it takes for the Earth to orbit around the sun once. It takes the Earth about 365 1/4 days to make one entire orbit around the sun. By adding one extra day about every four years, the Earth is in the same point of its orbit at the same time of the calendar year each year.

Before a leap year calendar was used, the seasons drifted around the calendar (the drift is about 1/4 day or 6 hours each year). For example, over three hundred years, July would go from summer to spring.

So without leap years, our seasons would get a bit confusing!

Happy Birthday to all the “leaplings” out there. We hope it’s moovelous!

calf and momma

Kiley Putnam

Kiley Putnam is a Senior Communications Specialist concentrated in consumer marketing and communications for New England Dairy Promotion Board. Kiley is a Connecticut native, an ice cream fanatic, and loves connecting people to where their food comes from. In her spare time, Kiley enjoys hiking, skiing, and spending time with friends and family. She currently resides in Boston, MA. Sound like someone you want to get to know? Contact Kiley at

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