Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Annual Cow Chipping Contest in Chatham, IL

You absolutely have to check this site. I mean it.
Well, it is that time of the year: Chatham Jaycees Annual Sweet Corn and Cow Chipping Festival in Illinois.

Small communities like Chatham are gems. Generations gather to renew friendships and celebrate history.  While there are competitions of all sorts, nothing, but nothing, is as intense and delightful as the Cow Chipping Contest.

The whole process is fairly simple. From their cow pastures, farmers select dried cow pies of the correct size, using a toilet seat as the measuring standard. The pies are then donated to the Jaycees where they are kept in a secure place. I am not kidding.

(There have been some accusations about sabotage; pies have been embedded with pellets or such in the past.  So, security is provided. Yes, it is.) 


CowChip04
Future chippers--not afraid to get their hands dirty

"This event will take place on July 21-23 at the Chatham sports field. Any attendees wishing to participate in the cow chipping throw should attend when the event is announced.  Experience is not necessary. All should understand that participation may result in pungent particulates adhering to hands and clothing."
This is a quote from last year's flyers.


Competition is serious business.
Beaver, OK, where cows outnumber people, 16-1




This is an international sport. Visitors travel to participate in this event.


Related image
Pinterest.com


 When I was there last year, the Jaycees had an emergency: the farmer who provided cow pies in the past had sold half his herd.  My brother Rev. Don Peck and his son Jeremy (president of the Chatham Jaycees) contacted other locals. They know everyone in the community, and within 15 minutes all was resolved.

Community.


60 comments:

  1. Pungent particles huh??? Masters of the understatement.

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  2. I suppose it's better than throwing pumpkins (that could be used for actual food)...

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    Replies
    1. Throwing pumpkins are darn scary. And it is food source.

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  3. You know it's serious business when there has been tampering with the cow patties in the past!

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    Replies
    1. Some people take this veeerrrry seriously.

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  4. So Susan. How good a thrower are you? Lol.

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  5. My brothers would have loved that. Mind you, they had fun with fresher pungent particles too. A favourite trick was to put a firecracker in a recently laid pat. I was showered more than once. Which necessitated another shower. And shampoo.

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  6. Hahahaha, I have herard of this, but this is the first documentation I have seen. Thanks. I remember a lot about cow piles, but mostly just cleaning my feet or shoes. hahaha
    Good one.
    Sherry & jack

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    Replies
    1. Stepping and then cleaning--a vicious cycle.

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  7. If i am remembering, there are several such cow chip throwing contests around the country, and yes, they are taken seriously. It has to be some kind of fun, though, for people to keep going back year after year, and i wouldn't mind attending some time.

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    1. It is a hoot. I looked up the history and cow chipping events date back to Medieval times.

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  8. I didn't grow up in dairy country, and our county fairs hadn't envisioned any sort of patty throwing. I guess pig pies were too damp and sheep pies simply were little round pellets. Shame.

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    1. There are standards to be followed. And you are right, other farm animals didn't stand up.

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  9. I wasn't sure what a cow pie was until I looked it up. LOL Now that's funny.

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    1. I know, right! Rural people like myself grew up with the patties fully available.

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  10. I never participated professionally but we used to throw cow pies out in the pasture. I was really bad to reach down to pick up what looked like the perfect patty only to find the nice crusty chip was really almost liquid inside. I have given chip tossing up.

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    Replies
    1. Who knows if you might have had a championship in your future?

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  11. Sounds like a wonderful but unusual event. These community get togethers are super.

    I wonder if anyone practices for this competition beforehand :)

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    Replies
    1. I honestly don't know. Maybe with frisbees? :()

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  12. I'm a bit surprised the chips hold together long enough to be thrown and do they fall apart on landing?

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    1. Participants choose their own patties from those available, going for those most solid.. I believe they have enough density to hold together.

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  13. lol wow, some people really give a crap if they have to tamper with it, huh?

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    1. Apparently. My brother said it was part of the history.

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  14. this sounds fun dear Susan

    back in village few old ladies would burn that thing get heat in winters ,but then i was child

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    Replies
    1. Patties have been used to heat world over. In the wagon train days, children collected buffalo patties to burn.

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  15. I always wondered if people wore gloves for this competition but your pictures prove that is not even a thought.

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    1. There might be some historic customs, maybe?

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  16. "using a toilet seat as the measuring standard" -- well, OF COURSE! lol

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    1. The cow patties have to be monitored somehow.

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  17. Susan:
    As a city boy, I'm don't really know about this.
    It all smells kinda "funky"...heh.
    (still, a great use for BS - beats network news)
    :)

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    1. Network news should donate their own supplies to the competition. But, dump trucks may damage the patties.

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  18. Sounds like a fun time. Never heard of this before until now.
    Thanks for sharing! :)

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    Replies
    1. In Ireland, there must be many cow patties. Maybe the climate doesn't give time for drying out.

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  19. Replies
    1. Higher level language to describe cow dung.

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  20. Don't know what hurts more, the cow or the fence.

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    Replies
    1. I don't like to think about that too much.

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  21. Yep! Been there, seen that. It's common in the midwest, too. I'm still laughing at the cow on the fence! Great and humorous post.

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    1. But, the question is: did you chip some cow pies? Be honest now.

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  22. Funny that they would wait till almost the last minute to discover the 'half his herd' problem. Luckily, it didn't hit the fan I guess.

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    1. It is part of the laid back life in Illinois. My brother has lived in the community most of his adult life and knows many many through his churches. Jeremy is a gregarious and a leader. So they found enough cow patties to go around.

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  23. As long as the cow pats are dry...it would be just fine! :)

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    Replies
    1. I am almost inspired to search for a ranch nearby.

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  24. awesome article.
    thanks for sharing :)

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  25. Now this is one event i've not heard of! Learn something new every day!

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  26. Hi Susan,
    Thanks for finding me and leaving me a comment. Love this event and so glad you had willing participants to supply the "chips" needed for the fun-filled entertainment. lol
    I am your newest follower. Have a blessed wonderful 4th of July weekend. Hugs-Diana

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    1. thanks for popping over!

      In rural communities, cow chipping is a part of life. I am betting that kids out on the fields do practice.

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  27. awesome article..
    thanks for sharing :)

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  28. I went to a ploughing match in Britain and there were many other events in addition to the ploughing contests, one of which was called wellie wanging. Wellies is the colloquial name for rubber boots, and wanging obviously meant throwing, because the competition involved throwing a wellie as far as you could! Maybe some of these farmers have too much time on their hands!!

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  29. Hi Susan - we occasionally have a wellie contest at home when there's a party with kids around ... as described by David above - I usually end up throwing the wellie which decides to take its life into its own hand and goes backwards. Never heard of 'cow chipping' ... looks lots of fun ... if you're there in a few days time - enjoy! Cheers Hilary

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!