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N.J. state troopers, a stray cow and a lesson about the Garden State

What happens when police are called upon to play cowboys in New Jersey.

A cow as seen by a New Jersey state trooper.
A cow as seen by a New Jersey state trooper.Read moreNew Jersey State Police

New Jersey state police used an encounter between a stray cow and a couple of troopers to let out-of-staters know New Jersey isn't called the Garden State for nothing.

"Do you know what grinds our gears?" is how a post on the state police Facebook page began Thursday morning. "Well, it's people who have the wrong impression of New Jersey. When some think of the Garden State, they picture images from The Sopranos or characters on a reality show. But that's not fair. Yes, we have populated areas with toll roads, state highways, and factories. But in reality, we're still mostly a rural state. Here's a case in point:"

That case in point was a stray cow that was blocking traffic on Route 29, a highway that hugs the Delaware River north of Stockton, Hunterdon County, earlier in the morning.

A trooper on his way to work stopped and started guiding traffic around the cow. The farmer then showed up, as did another trooper, and the wayward bovine was sent on its way home.

"This is Jersey," the Facebook post concluded. "Farms. Cows. Chickens. True story. And remember, the New Jersey State Police was created specifically to patrol rural areas that did not have local police, and we still do that today. So, the next time you out-of-staters think of Jersey, think of cows and cornfields… Oh, and Jersey Troopers!"