Around the Horns: Gerhart's day at the farm

Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Vikings beat:

Tuesdays in the NFL are typically when players have their day off, so it also tends to be when they make their public appearances, whether for charity, a sponsorship deal or something else. For Vikings running back Toby Gerhart, the last two Tuesdays couldn't have looked any more different.

He showed up at a Best Buy in Richfield, Minn., last week for the "Ultimate Gamers Showdown," squaring off in a couple games of "Madden NFL 25" on PlayStation 4 as part of the event. This week? Gerhart spent his Tuesday on a dairy farm.

The running back appeared at Bremer Farm in Hastings, Minn., as part of the family's prize for submitting the winning photo in a National Dairy Council contest. Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune spent the day with Gerhart, chronicling his experience learning to feed calves and talking football with the family farmers.

Gerhart grew up in Norco, Calif., which bills itself as "Horsetown USA" and mostly has riding trails instead of sidewalks, so he's not unfamiliar with rural living. But there's a tendency to forget sometimes how many different types of people make it to the NFL. Gerhart is there. So is Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, who grew up playing nine-man football in a South Dakota town of 400, and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who emerged from poverty in Philadelphia. The league brings together players from a fascinating array of backgrounds, and Rand's story is an enjoyable reminder of that fact.

Here are today's other Vikings stories of note:

  • We looked at the legacy Vikings center John Sullivan is carrying on of charity work at the University of Minnesota's Amplatz Children's Hospital, and exactly what goes into developing a relationship between a player and a cause.

  • We also heard from former Vikings tackle Tim Irwin, who was named to the Vikings' All-Mall of America Field team and came back to Minneapolis on Sunday to watch safety Harrison Smith -- whom Irwin coached in youth football -- return from injured reserve.

  • Andrew Krammer of 1500ESPN.com looked at what made Matt Cassel so efficient in the Vikings' win over the Eagles on Sunday.

  • Cordarrelle Patterson's impact on the Vikings' offense is continuing to grow, writes Tim Yotter of Viking Update.