The first pioneers that settled in the Plains faced Indians and unfriendly land. The desire to own a home and land to raise a family gave the settlers the determination to brave the difficult conditions. The scarcity of water and timber for fuel and shelter, plus extreme weather conditions, made life hard and lonely. Bitter winters found the settlers desperate for fuel.
Buffalo hunters had found that buffalo chips could be used for fuel. Most of the buffalo were gone by the time the settlers came, so they had to rely on the “cow chip” for furnishing fuel to cook their food and warm their homes.
When dry, the chips were odorless, gave a clean, bright flame and burned with intense heat, without soot. Chips were gathered and stored for the winter as autumn approached. The cow chip was a life-sustaining utility and was often used in trade for food or anything the pioneers needed.
In 1970 tossing cow chips became a sport in the Cimmarron Territory Celebration held each year in Beaver, Oklahoma in remembrance of the rugged courage and individualism of the early pioneer.
Giant Cow Chip In 1975 the Sauk Prairie Jaycees, recognized the Sauk Prairie Area as the Cow Chip Capital of Wisconsin and organized the first State Cow Chip Throw.
In 1989 the Wisconsin State Legislature proclaimed the cow chip the Unofficial State Muffin.
Over the years, this light-hearted tradition continues. The entire Sauk Prairie Community welcomes you to join the fun.