Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

The Manure Spreader: Get dirty

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairy Published on 30 September 2019
Getting dirty

A recent scientific study revealed that growing up on a farm in a clinically unclean environment will actually boost your immune system. What does that mean for me?

It means the “five-second rule” is now a scientific fact, right next to the other proven scientific fact: “Whoever smelt it, dealt it.”



We didn’t need a scientific study to figure this out. Look how well we turned out. We ran barefoot through cow manure, swam in the ditches, drank out of a water trough, had cow-pie fights, ate fruit and veggies straight off the vine, rode pigs, drank raw milk straight out the cow, ate an M&M we found in the couch cushion, wore dirty barn clothes for days, choked down liver and onions, blood sausage and Brussels sprouts at Granny’s house, swallowed hundreds of bugs while chasing animals in high weeds, survived the school lunch tuna casserole and county fair Port-o-Johns, went to a church potluck dinner, shared ice cream with our dog, used a rotten branch to roast marshmallows – and Lord only knows what else that pocket knife was used to cut other than our sandwich. And still, we hardly ever had to go see the veterinarian.

We’ve all had that friend or relative bring their kids out to the farm for the first time. The poor kid may as well be wrapped up in cling wrap. By the end of the day, the kid has chemical burns on their hands from mom and her Clorox wipes. Meanwhile, the dog is licking all over mom and the young ’uns. You know, the dog that just licked clean all the calf hutches. There is no way to child-proof a farm. Our parents knew that; they didn’t even try. If there was a sharp object, hot pipe or bare electrical wire, it stayed that way. You got cut, burnt or shocked once, and you learned to stay away. The rest of the time, you spent your days trying to trick your younger siblings or cousins into licking that wire.

There were two more scientific studies related to being raised around animals. One clinical study concluded that growing up with pets is linked to higher self-esteem. Well, that explains why Tarzan, raised by animals in the jungle, felt confident wearing only a loincloth. The second study suggests that having animals increases social skills. So if you’re a single person at the dog park with your dog, it might be a great way to start up a conversation. But if you’re a guy walking around the dog park with a parrot on your shoulder pretending to be a pirate, I think you would be a great match for my aunt. She has twenty-two cats and talks to them like they are her only family. She was raised on a farm, has an awesome immune system and has a thing for a man in an eye patch. So, my friends, get dirty, stay healthy and socialize.  end mark

PHOTO: Getting dirty. Getty Images.

Some of you need some laughs at your upcoming winter meetings. Check Tim out at Tim the Dairy Farmer.