Valerie Miller, 34, didn’t grow up on a dairy farm, yet she is connected to cows in a very creative way.

She has been around animals since she was a kid growing up in Waukon. Her uncles and cousins had and still have dairy farms, and she had aunts and uncles who were veterinarians.

“I knew I was going to be an artist, a painter,” said Miller, putting the final touches on an 11-by-11-foot mural of “Irene,” a milking shorthorn, on the exterior wall of the Oneota Community Food Cooperative in Decorah.

“It looks wonderful, and makes everyone so...