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The Manure Spreader: Cow chips

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairyman Published on 24 May 2017

Life in the country can sometimes get a little boring. History reveals how boring things have gotten by the games we have invented (out of pure boredom) while doing our daily chores.

The common denominator in all these games is: They all involve throwing something. For example, the corn hole or bean bag toss, horseshoes, lawn darts and last, my favorite: cow chip throwing.

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This whole cow chip throwing thing was started by some kid that … he wasn’t slow … well, maybe, just a tad bit … but one day he was bringing the cows to the barn to be milked. He picked up a cow chip and tried to see how far he could throw it. After the first three attempts, he learned to only use dry ones.

But every day, when he had to bring the cows to the barn, he would practice throwing; knuckleball, curveball and sliders were the toughest. Day in and day out until he got stronger, faster and more accurate.

At age 17, a recruiting scout from the Cleveland Browns approached the young boy and asked him if he would like to try out for the position as quarterback for the team. The young boy replied, “Listen, I may be slow, but I’m not stupid. I’d rather be known as ‘that kid that plays with cow manure’ than be a Cleveland Brown.”

Beaver, Oklahoma, is home of The World’s Cow Chip Throwing Championship. The three regional qualifying tournaments are held in Brown Acres, Tennessee; Skid Mark, Georgia; and Smellsgood, Texas. People show up from all over the world to be in this event.

Some from countries I’m not sure have cows. Why isn’t this game in the Olympics yet? If curling – a game which involves four people pushing a broom and bed pan down an icy shuffleboard court – can be there, why not?

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There are strict rules to be in this contest. Rules, what? You pick up a cow chip and you throw it. Monkey see, monkey do. How hard is that, right? No, these people get serious. Each contestant chooses two cow chips out of a trailer full of cow chips provided by our local bovine cousin, the Moose Lodge, and is given two chances to throw as far as they can.

Contestants cannot modify the cow chips by any means and are not allowed to bring their own cow chips from home. Apparently, there have been some cheating scandals in the past.

One old timer was feeding ball bearings to his cows to make weighted chips. Another woman was actually caught putting her grandkids’ Frisbee into a fresh manure pile and let it dry age with the Frisbee inside. Last year’s champion was stripped of his title after it was found out he won with cow chips from his own cow.

He was feeding the cow with meals made by his mother-in-law. In the farmer’s defense, he said he knew the cow had worms, and he was trying to kill them.

At the end of the tournament, the winner received a huge golden cow chip trophy. Everyone else was given hand sanitizer. I went this year and had a great time. I’m just glad there was some distance between that and the pie-eating contest.  end mark

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

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