Montecito Magazine 2020

Old Bossy the Cow still presides over North Milpas Street from atop the former Live Oak Dairy bottling plant, just as she has, on and off, since the Streamline Moderne-style building was built in 1939. But these days, the iconic statue’s presence is merely symbolic, now that McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams has moved its production to Oxnard. California remains the nation’s No. 1 milk producer, but you couldn’t prove it by Santa Barbara County, once home to scores of dairy farms. The Santa Barbara Cheese Company bills itself as the only dairy in the county, but it’s located way out in the Cuyama Valley, and only sells artisanal cheese. All the Montecito dairies that once trucked their rawmilk down to Milpas Street to be processed and bottled under Bossy’s watchful eye are long gone. But they’re not forgotten. Not while retired dairymen like Gene Pozzebon are still around to tell their stories. By Mark Lewis Art by Heidi Bratt, Christine Flannery, Gail McBride Kenny, Cathy Quiel, Martha Shilliday Eugene Pozzebon’s Torro Canyon Dairy is long gone, but Gene at 96 remains a living link to the days when Montecito got most of its milk from local cows, via Italian-American families like the Pozzebons. Milk Man 18 Montecito Magazine Summer–Fall 2020 Right – Gene Pozzebon, age 96, still occasionally climbs aboard a tractor to help his son Dennis mow a hayfield. Painting © Christine Flannery