MANHATTAN — Mike, a 3-year-old Border Collie, is a working cow dog through and through. He is owned by rancher Tim Feddes of Manhattan. Feddes knows just how special of a cow dog Mike is. So, he entered him into the American Farm Bureau's 2021 Farm Dog of the Year Contest.
“I just thought about all the work that he does for us and when he helps us out of tight spots on the ranch,” said Feddes. “I thought I would give him shot and see what happens.”
What happened, is that out of hundreds of entries, an expert panel of judges recognized Mike as one of the top five farm dogs in the nation. Coming in as a runner-up representing the western states.
“I really appreciate Farm Bureau for doing this,” said Feddes. “It brings attention to dogs helping out on the ranch. I think a lot of people underestimate the value of a good dog on the ranch.”
The Border Collie is a breed Tim Feddes respects and trusts. In addition to Mike, he has three other four-legged companions that work on the ranch.
“I just like the way they handle the cattle,” said Feddes. “You'll notice when he's working, he's giving the cattle some distance. Yet, he's keeping the pressure on them and not losing focus, but he's giving him distance. He has a lot of power, but you'll notice the cattle respect him, but they don't fear him. That's a big difference. They respect them and not fear the dog.”
Feddes said Mike the Border Collie is an all-around hand on the ranch and hit with the grandkids.
“His first love is working cattle,” said Feddes. “But he just loves people and kids. So that's another plus for him. I can trust him with my grandkids around him and not have to worry about a thing.”
As runner up, Mike received a cash price, trophy plate, Purina products and new doghouse. All for being, a really good boy.
“I think he's going to love it,” said Feddes when asked about Mike’s new doghouse. “He probably gets a little spoiled around here. But all the dogs do. A good dog saves a lot of headaches.”
An Australian Shepherd named Bindi from New York received the Farm Dog of the Year top honor.