BEEF Daily

Cow Tipping, College Pranks & Family Farm Photos


The legend of cow tipping lives on.

Cow tipping is in the news this week, seriously. Now even if your college days are decades behind you, I’m sure you haven’t forgotten the shenanigans you and your buddies got into between all that studying and class attendance.

When I arrived at South Dakota State University (SDSU) as a freshman and checked into my dormitory, Hansen Hall (a.k.a. Hick Hall), I knew I was going to meet plenty of like-minded individuals. After all, straw bales adorned the entryway of the dorm, and cowboys were roping steer dummies on the front lawn. My roommate came from a farm, as did most of the folks who resided in that dormitory.

Tales of sheep running around in the fourth-floor bathroom, and the students behind that legendary prank, were some of the first stories I heard as I settled into my dorm room. And it didn’t take long before some of my peers had talked a city kid or two into sneaking out to the SDSU Cow-Calf Unit to try tipping a cow. Of course, a little liquid courage had these gullible college kids trying, and failing miserably, at the urban myth of cow tipping.

The nonsense of cow tipping was discussed recently on

Here is an excerpt: “Let's get this out of the way: Cow tipping, at least as popularly imagined, does not exist. Drunk young men do not, on any regular basis, sneak into cow pastures and put a hard shoulder into a cow taking a standing snooze, thus tipping the poor animal over. While in the history of the world there have surely been a few unlucky cows shoved to their side by boozed-up morons, we feel confident in saying this happens at a rate roughly equivalent to the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.”

Oddly, despite the fact that it's nearly impossible to tip a cow, the legend lives on. Have you ever attempted cow tipping or talked someone duped into tackling the task? Share your best and worst moments in the comments section below.

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Discuss this Blog Entry 6

Ed Fowler (not verified)
on Sep 12, 2013

One of my hired hands was very good at tipping a cow, he would simply walk up along side of one, usually at the feed bunk, reach down get a hold of her front foot,lift it up and push into her side with his shoulder and over she would go.

His abilities came in handy during calving time, but only rarely was it necessary.

He also set a state weight lifting record while in high school.

Former Hanson Hall groupie (not verified)
on Sep 12, 2013

I have to share with you that the Hanson "Hick" hall group has been moved to Pierson Hall and they petitioned for the roping dummies and grills. They now proudly stand on that front lawn. I think having the "Hick" dorm in the middle of the urban college kids in the long run is a great move.

on Sep 12, 2013

Our goal was to take tenderfoots snipe hunting in a pasture with fresh cow pies with a burlap sack. After the second flying leap coming up with green from head to toe the tender lost all dignity. We had to run for our lives. And, try doing that with a busting gut from holding back the laughter.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 12, 2013

I'm not much on cow tipping. However, hunting for the ever elusive jackalope is quite invigorating.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 12, 2013

So, how much DOES one tip a cow? Is 20% adequate?

Backroad Country Girl (not verified)
on Sep 17, 2013

That is so funny. I can just picture all these kids (that don't know any better) going and trying to tip a cow. It's amazing how much the "city kids" do not know about agriculture. It shows all the more reason to inform them about the truth behind agriculture.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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