Joe Moylan: My dirty jobs

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— I am not a farmer or a rancher, and I understand little about the agricultural industry that is so prominent in Craig and Moffat County.

As a native of the country’s third largest city, I was raised in the shadows of the world’s tallest skyscrapers and spent my childhood playing with friends on little more than a concrete sidewalk.

I didn’t have a lawn to mow, and to this day I couldn’t tell you how a lawnmower works. Though I think I could figure it out if one were placed at my feet, there’s little I could offer in the way of a guarantee.

Almost two years ago I landed in Moffat County to accept a job as the government reporter at the Craig Daily Press. Since my arrival I have not only come to call many of you my friends, but also have been fortunate to share many of your stories.

One of those experiences took place in January when I spent almost 26 straight hours farrowing piglets at NC Enterprises, LLC just north of Craig, where Moffat County residents JB and Paula Chapman raise show hogs.

It was an experience unlike anything I could have had in my native Chicago, but it also was an example of the type of story I hoped to write from the moment I arrived in Craig.

This past weekend I returned to NC Enterprises to help JB and Paula with the next phase of their operation — converting their young boars to barrows.

If you are unfamiliar with the difference between the two, let me spare you the particulars and sum it up by saying it’s a job that would cause even the manliest of men to, at a minimum, wince in discomfort.

Though not appropriately rated for print, this most recent experience did remind me of why I wrote the “Gilt & Innocence” story in the first place.

Just like every other community in the country, there is a group of people who make their living working a variety of thankless, labor-intensive and brutally foul-smelling jobs to ensure the rest of us enjoy certain luxuries that too often are taken for granted.

These men and women provide us with everything from clean water and fresh food to reliable electricity.

I am anxious to walk a mile or two in your shoes and to tell your stories in a series we at the Craig Daily Press have unofficially named “Joe’s Dirty Jobs.”

I encourage anyone with a dirty job story idea to email me at jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

The stinkier and more difficult the work, the better.

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