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The Manure Spreader: Talk louder!

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairy Published on 11 September 2019

How many times have we all heard the phrase, “You never listen to me!”? The majority of the time it’s said from spouse to spouse, from parents to kids, and from politicians to those of us that work for a living.

Well, we finally have a legitimate excuse! A recent study found that over one-third of farmers have hearing loss. It’s probably higher, but a lot of farmers couldn’t hear on the phone. And 75% of farmers will have mild to severe hearing loss as they get older. I’ve been trying to tell farmers this forever, but they don’t listen! The study said the top reasons for hearing loss include tractors, livestock, chainsaws and firearms. After seeing my grandpa, I would add ear hair to that list. Seriously, he couldn’t walk through Texas without being mistaken for a tumble weed.



My grandparents were happily married for 54 years. My Grandpa Moffett always had a smile on his face. My grandma could be barking up a storm and he would just nod his head and smile. I asked my grandpa, “What’s the key to such a long marriage?” And he said, “The ability to turn off these hearing aids! That woman snores like a freight train. How else do you think I slept at night!” I also think that’s why he could sleep so well during church, while attending family reunions and even driving.

His hearing aids had a low-battery signal that would go off for days and he couldn’t hear it. It was a high-pitched piercing sound that could clear a barn full of cows and even attract dogs from 10 miles away. I saw crows just drop from the sky. These days, they use that same noise for fire alarms in all high-rise buildings! That man was deaf as a 10-year-old billy goat with cotton stuck in his ears, but if I mumbled a sarcastic phrase under my breathe…he could repeat every word. He couldn’t hear the TV from two feet away, but try to sneak in after curfew…he could hear the slightest squeak in that screen door! I even WD-40’d the door and he still heard it!

I’ve been accused of having signs of “selective” hearing loss. My doctor says I already have it. Every appointment he starts out with the same phrase, “Well, you obviously didn’t hear what I said about…blah, blah, blah.”

Why is it that no matter what restaurant I decide to eat at, there is always one person seated at another table that talks louder than an auctioneer at a NASCAR race? Talking loudly doesn’t make you smarter or more interesting, and I really don’t care about how you grew up in New Jersey! I’m gonna get hearing aids just so I can tune people out and smile while I’m doing it.  end mark

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