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The Manure Spreader: Pet labels

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairyman Published on 24 August 2016

To most people a dog is the family pet. A dog on a farm is a working dog. That’s why you never see a poodle or a dachshund on a farm. And if you do you see one, it’s not for long. Small dogs tend to “run for their lives” back to town after meeting the barn cats.

To a farmer, a dog is his best friend that is never allowed in the house. Now, this doesn’t mean you can refer to Mr. Rodney as a dog just because he is your dad’s best friend and Mom says he is never allowed back in the house again.



I know a guy who walks his dog three times a day, picks up the dog’s droppings and puts them in a plastic bag, and has the dog’s nails done once a month. I asked him if he would mind taking care of my uncle Jesse.

City folk continue to confound me. One of my closest city friends was so proud of the fact that he got his kids their first pet: a turtle. The only thing I know about turtles is they’re soup starters. But all I could think was that I hope those kids have a lot of spare time to walk this turtle – that could take days.

That same year, my friend got his kids a hamster and a cat – that run around together in the same house. That’s wrong on many levels. Either that is the world’s fastest hamster or the world’s dumbest cat. I told him he could have done the same thing by just getting a ferret.

One day he called me, terrified of a snake that was on his front doorstep. He asked me what to do. I said, “If he rings the doorbell, let him in.” He described the snake to me, and I told him it was a corn snake. He replied, “Ha! There isn’t corn within 30 miles of my house; this snake is on a mission to kill me.”

I convinced him that the only way to keep snakes away – because he didn’t buy a ferret – was to urinate daily around his house and once a week to bring me soil samples to test for “snake magnets.” I’m not sure how long I can make this joke last before he actually catches on.


Last week, he was over for dinner and the topic of animals came up. I asked my friend if he knew what a Jersey cow is. He said, “Yes; that’s a large waitress at Denny’s in northern Bergen who insists on wearing tight clothes and chews gum very loudly.” Not the answer I was expecting; however, we all have different ideas and definitions for animals and pets.

I make fun of my friend, but deep down he knows I’m an animal lover. He said to me, “Tim, I really think it’s great how you farmers take animals to the fair to win a blue ribbon.” I smiled. What he didn’t know is the fact that not every animal gets a ribbon.

Hence the Jersey burger on his plate.  PD

Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and comedian. Have him at your next event! Tim Moffett - agricultural comedian, speaker and farmer.