CHOOSING A CAREER / FEB. 21, 2015
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Listen Sh*t-Head, This Is The Business of Manure

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This topic holds immense potential for the extensive use of bathroom jokes, but I will refrain. The reason I will do so is that the poop industry is a fascinatingly large industry, it’s a dirty job but someone gets a fat paycheck out of it. So follow me down the swirling portal that is the business of manure.

Manure Tea Bag

I sh*t you not this is a thing, and Annie Haven sells teabags filled with manure that gardeners’ can use to condition their plants. Haven is cow farmer and although she sold her manure to other farms and gardeners’ locally she wanted to expand a little. So what see did was create her fecal-filled tea bags and  started selling them online. Marketed as organic and pesticide free, Haven offers both Horse and Cow manure tea bags to cater to any taste. Hopefully manure tea won’t get adopted anytime soon by health considered citizens (see stinky new age hippies).

Horse Sh*t

A horse defecates about 50 pounds a day while a cow creates about 65 pounds of organic matter a day. That is a stinky by-product that you can actually sell! A 40 pound bag of manure is sold in major retail stores for about $3 depending on what you’re offering. If it’s organic, herbicide free you can get even more! The organic stuff can actually go for $40 to $70 a cubic yard!

Energy Producer

You can actually burn it, or even better, use the heat released from its decomposition to heat water, or air. Don’t worry it’s a closed system so you’ll get the heat without the fresh smell of cow dung wafting through the air while you’re taking a hot shower.

Night Soil

This is a euphemism for human waste, as in the past there was a poor soul whose job was to collect buckets of poo, at night, mix it with soil and use it in agriculture. Today, it goes through a vigorous process that makes it completely safe but it is still used sparingly in agriculture due to cultural bias regarding human fecal matter. Make sure you wash that carrot extra carefully. The image below is soil at night. Did you think I was crazy enough to search for actual ’night soil’? You do it, tough guy.

Greener Poop?

No, this has nothing to do with ingesting large amounts of spinach, but is a more environmental way to dispose of organic waste. Recently, farms in the United States and especially dairy farms have adopted a very green model to manure management. Anaerobic digesters are basically huge fermentation tanks for crap. The by-products created though are a little nicer. The process creates methane that can be used to produce electricity, the heat waste is used to heat homes and barns and finally it creates a compost, or fertilizer that doesn’t smell as offensive as its fresh cow-pie counterpart.

There is a market for it, and the pile is getting bigger...

Commercial and chemical fertilizer have been steadily increasing in price for the past few decades. As a result farmers are now looking for alternative ways to enrich their farmland, and manure has filled that gap. In previous years, most farmers had to pay to remove organic waste from their farms but today people are paying to buy it. The fertilizer industry is worth around $14 million a year. Would you like to be neck deep in that?

Are you in the manure business? Would you consider following this career path? Let us know how you feel about the stinky business of manure, in the comment section below.

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