After attending a most interesting meeting of Township Officers (Clay County) on Monday, I have learned a great deal about agricultural practices, implications of having concentrated farm animals in large feedlots, the dangers of runoff from agricultural products….lots of other interesting information, as well. I must share what I learned about Manure Measurement and Management. It was a most serious and well-organized presentation by a PhD from the U of Minnesota who grew up on a dairy farm in Ottertail County. He was well organized, highly knowledgeable and articulate. He had a great PowerPoint presentation but then he showed a picture and that’s when things began to happen that I did NOT want to happen. Everyone else in the room was deadly serious but the black and white picture from the 1950s showed serious mature women wearing white lab coats, sniffing the uplifted arrmpits of men in a row with the caption "And you think YOUR job stinks!" I began to feel the uncontrollable giggle rising inside of me. I feared a full-blown attack of the "Giggles" and thought of other times when I was a teen ager that it hit me…like the time a Confirmand fainted and fell into the laps of worshipers at our old Lutheran church….like the time a guy would inadvertently forget to button his "fly"….like when our old pastor could not find his glasses in confirmation class and we could all see them propped upon his head…like when our math teacher did not have the bottom of his shirt buttoned and we were treated to a view of hairy belly in Algebra class. But now I had no reason to laugh; this was a serious scientific subject….the effects of large barns, manure and odors on the environment and all that. Then our PhD showed another picture of himself in coveralls and engineer’s pith helmet squatting by the vent on a large animal barn. He was holding a hose from a device that measured the output of odor from the barn. A chart appeared on the screen with numbers indicating "odor emission output" with a number 50 being really high. This must be like lying face-down in a manur-ey animal barn with your nose over the gutter. Then number 4 was pretty low—like riding your bike past a huge barn when you are a mile from it and you only get a whiff. I was choking down the chortles and my face was getting red and hot from the effort….I could feel perspiration popping out of my hairline. Then came information and pictures of a machine called an "odorometer" and there were Sniffers sitting at Sniffing Stations Sniffing odors and rating them from intense to pretty mellow or something like that. The odometry went on and on and soon there were pictures of Sniffers in white coveralls walking across a field toward a large barn, Sniffing all the way. Another photo showed a man wearing a Sniffing Device that looked like a large rhino horn with a grill on one end of it…"The Attack of the Martians" couldn’thave done it any better. I was tipping toward a real giggle disaster when a bell curve went up on the screen with one low side of the bell labeled "Hypersensitive", the large fat part of the bell labeled "Normal" and the other skinny side of the bell labeled "Asonomial" which I figured out means "you have no nose" in Latin. All of this referred to the pervasive odors we had been learning about. All this time the presentation was proceeding seriously and studiously and here I am fighting not to emit a horrendous loud guffaw to my eternal embarassment. I am also seeing the terms OFFSET and INPUFF but have missed the meaning of both of them. INPUFF really sounds interesting to me but I should not assign my own definition but look it up on the website we were given. I have to take a "truly serious" pill before I attend any future meetings on such subjects. Now you, too, know more about manure than you never wanted to know!