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The Manure Spreader: All alone

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairyman Published on 24 August 2017

We all love a good story. We all like to see the bad guy lose. And we all like to see a big girl squeeze into a wedding dress that’s three sizes too small just to watch her family cry. That’s why they created “reality television.”

Before reality television, I knew nothing about buying antiques, pawning off trinkets of deceased relatives or breaking into storage units. But now I collect coupons, live in Alaska and make my own tattoos.



My brother’s favorite reality show is Alone. Alone is the self-documented struggles of 10 individuals isolated from each other and everything in the wilderness. The person who survives the longest on their own wins a half million dollars. The opening credits for the show say some of the images could be graphic because contestants have to catch their own food. Graphic?

That was the theme of half my high school yearbook. Other people freak out when they hear that they are gonna have to fish and catch their own food. Farmers would hear that and say, “Ain’t it great! This is like being on vacation.”

Contestants are allowed to bring up to 10 items from home. Most contestants bring things like an ax, knife, or bow and arrow. Listen, if you’ve never used a bow and arrow set before and you think somehow you are now an avid outdoorsman ... you’re basically just holding two sticks and a string. I want to know why no one ever brings things like food, another person or directions home.

None of these contestants are farmers. Most of them show up in brand-new hiking boots and still have the price sticker on their new machete. You’d know if a farmer was on the show; his tools were already broken when he arrived. “I know it’s broken, but I thought while I was out here I might have a little extra time to repair some of this old stuff.”

I feel like this Alone show would be too easy for people like me and you. So I’m going to use my resources to start a true Alone show for farmers. The theme of the show would be to take farmers out of their element and put them in a place where they have to survive on their instinct, push through the pain and make it out the other side no matter the cost. A true survivor.


This new show would have the same concept of 10 farmer contestants self-documenting their struggles, and the one person who lasts the longest wins a chance to be in the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. Taxes and fees apply.

The first episode would take place in a library. Just the idea of being surrounded by all those books would be enough to cripple most dairy farmers. The only farmer to master the Dewey Decimal System will win. Episode two, at the Shakespeare Festival. Survive 37 plays and 154 sonnets without killing yourself.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten. I think the other episodes will include things like watching a chess tournament, interviewing people at a Star Wars convention and three days as a dog groomer at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The name I’ve chosen for my new reality show is Shoot Me Already!  end mark

Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and comedian. Visit him at Tim the Dairy Farmer.