Friday, August 31, 2012

More Things That Make You Go...


Hmmm...

But, in a good way.

According to the AP, there is a cow manure problem in the great state of Wisconsin.
It's very seldom someone talks about the quality and amount of cow dung, but in one southern Wisconsin city that's all they've been talking about lately.

The summer drought has plagued the Midwest has caused a shortage of flattened, dried cow manure -- or cow chips -- for the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw and Festival.

The event annually attracts about 300 throwers and 40,000 spectators to Prairie du Sac, Wis.

No, we aren’t making this up.

The competition uses the chips from a local beef cattle herd that mostly eats grass, because the diet helps keep the chips dense and strong.

The hot, dry summer -- which has caused crop, water level and other problems across the nation -- caused the grass to brown and cattle to stay near their barn for food and to keep cool. That means the manure in the pasture wasn't able to dry and flatten in the sun.

The committee that runs the festival usually goes out once in July to shovel the manure and let it dry in wagons in the sun. But this year they had to skip it because of the poor quality.

Instead, a few organizers went out sporadically and collected about a third of the usual amount -- 200 or 300. Every year they keep the good ones that don't break -- so they will dip into the 150 to 200 in reserve barrels for this year's competition.

When searching for chips, they look for them be about the size of a ping pong paddle.

Once they dry, they don't really stink anymore.

"A lot of people are afraid to pick it up," said Terry Slotty, who runs the throw every year. "They look at it, and it looks like what it is but once they touch it they notice that it's very dry."

The men's record was set in 1991 at 248 feet. The woman's record is from 2005 at 157.5 feet. The festival will give the top finishers $200 each toward a trip to the World Championship Cow Chip Throw in Beaver, Okla., should they decide to go, Slotty said.

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