Monday, October 1

Local Farmers Hold Cow Tipping Contest

Keeping with the spirit of harvest time, several local farmers have banded together to start a cow tipping contest at Hanover Ranch in Cotton. Joe Darter, owner of 200 head, was the winner at the inaugural contest.

Darter, 29, owns Mulberry Acres farm in Allouez, Wisconsin. "I've been having the most dull time as a farmer," Darter explained over a coffee at Starvin' Marvin's. "There's just not a lot going on. I spend some time tending to the cows, and sure, there's some needin' a little extra care. But most just eat their grass, regurgitate it, and eat it again - that's about all there is to it. Never said raisin' cattle was tricky."

Typical of most cows, Darter's have four stomachs. Each of the stomachs acts as a holding tank with grasses of different consistencies, not dissimilar from what is found at a typical Starvin' Marvin's salad bar. Darter believes that "the cow tippin' process has a beneficial effect on 'em. First, it gets me more one-on-one time with the cows. So I practice a lot. And second, it helps their movin' abilities, which makes for better eatin' in the winter. Most farmers know that."

The prize this year was an honorary bronzed cow, which Darter plans to mount as a hood ornament on his barn. "No sense havin' a barn if it don't have an ornament," he explained. Darter believes competition next year will be tough. After besting 34 competitors at this year's contest, he will spend the winter preparing. "I've got a lot of cows to tip, and they ain't tippin' themselves."

Now that's good eatin'.